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0lncient ^Iban 




Volume III. 


■■***«•*-« wr^"* 


All Rights reserved 


A NEW edition of this the third and last volume of 
Celtic Scotland having now been called for, the author 
is glad to have this opportunity of correcting any 
mistakes of the press which have occurred in it. As 
this volume deals with the early land tenures and 
social condition of the Celtic inhabitants of Scotland, 
in which a number of obsolete terms and old Celtic 
Avords occur, it is peculiarly liable to mistakes of this 
kind, and the author has revised the text in this view 
with great care, but he does not find that he has any 
material alteration to make in the views he has ex 
pressed, or the conclusions he has come to, as these 
are, in fact, the outcome of years of careful research 
into this very o])scure subject. 

Edinburgh, 27 Inverleith How, 
1th July 1890. 


This A^olume completes the task which the author set 
before himself of illustrating the history of Scotland 
during the Celtic period, when it bore the name of 
Alban, and of endeavouring to dispel those fables 
which have hitherto obscured it. Like the other 
volumes, this third volume forms in itself a substan- 
tive work. Its title is ' Land and People,' and its 
subject, ' The early land tenures and social condition 
of the Celtic inhabitants of Scotland' (vol. i. p. 28). 
The real history of a country may be said only truly 
to commence when we come to deal with the social 
and political organisation of its population. The 
ethnology of the nations which compose it — the 
history of its kings, their reigns, and the various 
wars in which they engaged — the extension or re- 
striction of the frontiers of their kingdom — the intro- 
duction of Christianity and the establishment of a 
Christian Church, are all great landmarks and im- 
portant features of its history ; but 'still they are 
merely the outward bulwarks of the kingdom as a 
whole, and present it to us in its external relations 
only. Till we know something of the distribution 
within the country of the various races which formed 


its population, their relative growth and decay, their 
social organisation, and the extent to which its peculiar 
features were preserved, and influenced and coloured 
the future condition of the entire population formed 
by the amalgamation of its various elements, we know 
little of its real history. 

To supply, at least to some extent, this informa- 
tion is the main purpose of the present volume, which 
the author fears has been very inadequately carried 
into effect, and its publication has been from unavoid- 
able causes delayed much beyond the period when it 
ought to have appeared. It was commenced two 
years ago, when its progress was interrupted partly 
owing to his illness, under the depressing influence of 
which part of the volume has indeed been written, 
but mainly because the publication of the fourth 
volume of the Ancient Irish Laws, which was to con- 
tain tracts relating to the early land tenure in Ireland, 
had likewise been unavoidably delayed, and the author 
felt that, without consulting these tracts, he could 
not satisfactorily treat of the old tribal system from 
which the ancient Celtic land tenures in Scotland 
derived their oriofin, and without a knowledo;e of 
which their true character could hardly be ascertained. 
The author was, however, at length enabled to com- 
plete this part of his volume through the courtesy of 
the editor, who, with the kind permission of the Lord 
Bishop of Limerick, chairman of the Brelion Law Com- 
mission, communicated to him the proof-sheets of the 
text and translation of these tracts, but it was not till 

viii PREFACE. 

after this volume had iu the main been printed, and 
was almost through the press, tliat the fourth volume 
of the Ancient Laws of Ireland was at length published, 
and the author had any opportunity of reading the 
introduction ; and thus in compiling that part of his 
volume he had unfortunately not the benefit of the 
learned editor's commentary upon these tracts. 

The author has to record his thanks to his friends : 
Mr, Alexander Carmichael for the instructive account 
of three of the Long Island townships embodied in 
the last chapter ; W. M. Hennessy, Esq., of the 
Public Record Office, Dublin, for the curious poem 
relatino[ to the Kin2;doni of the Isles, with its transla- 
tion ; and Captain Thomas for the old description of the 
Isles, both printed in the Appendix, Nos. ii. and iii. 
He has also, as formerly, to thank Mr. John Taylor 
Brown for his ready aid in revising his proof-sheets ; 
and he takes this opportunity when completing his 
work of recording his sense of the valuable assistance 
and advice he has received throughout from his 
excellent publisher, Mr. David Douglas. 

The volume containing the History and Ethnology 
of the kingdom was brouoht down to the end of the 
reign of Alexander the Third, the last of the old 
dynasty of Celtic monarchs, which terminated with 
his death in the year 1284, and it is with the same 
reiffn that our narrative in treatina; of the ' Land and 
People ' must now commence. 

Edinburgh, 27 Inverleith Kow, 
Ut Ocioher ISSO. 




CHAPTEli 1. 



Consolidation of the provinces of Scotland into one feudal mon- 
archy completed in this reign, .... 1 

Southern frontier of Scotland, ..... 3 

English possessions of the Scottish king.?, ... 5 

Northern boundary of Scotland, ..... 7 

Physical aspect of Scotland in the reign of Alexander the Third, 9 

Population of Scotland in the reign of Alexander the Third 

composed of six races, . . . . .15 

Indigenous races of the Britons and Picts, . . .16 

Colonising races of Scots and Angles, . . . .17 

Intruding races of Danes, Norwegians, and Normans, . . 18 

Influence of foreign races on native population, . . .18 

Foreign elements introduced into population of Pictish and 

Cambrian territories, ...... 20 

Spread of Teutonic people over them, . . . .21 

Norwegian kingdom of the Isles, . . . . .28 

The Gallgaidheal, 29 

The Estates of the Realm in 1283, . . . .39 

Distinction of population into Teutonic Lowlanders and Gaelic 

Highlanders, ....... 40 




Old division of Scotia into provinces, 

Seven provinces in the eighth century, 

Seven provinces in the tenth century, 

Districts ruled by kings and afterwards by Mormaers, 

Petty kings of Argyll and Galloway, 

Jari Thorfinn, 

Mormaers termed by Norwegians, Jarls, 

INIormaers of Buchan, from the Book of Deer 

Toisechs of Buchan, . 
Seven Earls first appear in reign of Alexander the First, 
Policy of David I. to feudalise Celtic earldoms, 
Creation of additional earldoms, 

Earldom of IVIar, 

Earldoms of Gar\7^ach and Levenach, 

Erldoms of Koss and Carrick, 

Earldom of Caithness, 
Seven Earls in the reign of Alexander the Second, 
Province of Argyll, . . . - 

Seven Earls in the reign of Alexander the Third, 
State of the land in the reign of Alexander the Third, 
The Crown demesne, .... 

District of Argyll divided into sheriffdoms, 





The problem to be solved. 

Early traditions, 

Ethnic legends. 

Linguistic legends, 

Historical legends, 

Artificial character of early Irish history, 

Cymric legends, 




Legendary origin of transmarine tribes, 
The Nemedians in Scotland, 
Tlie Firbolg and Tuath De Danan in Scotland, 
Pictish legends, .... 
The Milesians in Scotland, 
The race of Ith in Scotland, 
The race of CoUa in Scotland, 
The last three pagan kings of Ireland in Scotland 
How far have these legends a historic basis ? 
Early connection between Scotland and Ireland, 
The twofold division of the Picts and the establishment of 
Scone as the capital of the kingdom, .... 






Mixed population of Scotland, 

Sources of information as to their early social state. 

Tribal organisation of the Gaelic race. 

Influences aflecting the tribe in Ireland, 

Effect of introduction of Christianity, 

Land originally held in common, . 

Distinction of ranks in the tribe, . 

The Ri or king. 

Distinction of ranks arising from possession of cattle, 

Origin and growth of private property, and creation of an 
order of territorial chiefs, 

The Ceile or tenants of a chief, 
State of the Tuath or territory of a tribe 

The Dun or fort, 
The Mortuath, 
The Cuicidh or province, . 
The law of Tanistry, 

Connection between superiors and dependants. 
The system of fines, 

The Honor price, 
System of land measures, . 
Later state of the tribes, . 










Origin of tlie Fine or Sept, 



The Cin6 or kinsfolk, 


The Ceile or tenants, 


The Fuidhir or stranger septs. 


Territorial basis of Fine, . 


The four families of the Cin^ or 

kinsfolk, . 


Members of the four families, 

. 179 

The Geilfin(5 chief, . 


Eehition of Geilfine chief t( 

t the Ki Tuath, 


Law of Succession, 


Sluaged or hosting, 




Later state of the Fines, . 

. 192 

The Tribe in Wales, 


Fines for Slaughter, 

. 204 

The sept in Wales, 


Fosterage in Wales, 

. 207 



Early notices of tribal organisation, 

The tribe among the Picts, 

The tribe in Dalriada, 

The tribe in Galloway, 

Modification of original tribes under foreign intiuences, . 

Passing of the Mortuath into the Piarldom, and the Tribe int 

the Thanage, ..... 
Distinction of people into free and servile classes, 
Classes of freemen, 
Ranks of bondmen. 
Measures of land, . 
Burdens on the land, 

The Cain or Can, 


E.xpedition and hosting, 




Assimilation to feudal forms, 

Tenure in ftu-farm, 

Ranks of society on Crown lands, 






Review of the Thanages and their converi 

Thanages in Moray and Ross, 

Thanages in Mar and Buchan, 

Thanages in Angus and Mearns, 

Thanages in Fife and Fothriff, 

Thanages in Strath erne, 

Thanages in Atholl, . 

Thanages in Gowry, . 

Thanages south of the Forth, 
Toshachdor and Toshachdera, 
Result of survey of thanages. 

ion into Baronies, 










. 278 




Clanship in the Highlands, 

The Highland Line, 

Break-up of the Celtic Earldoms, 





Menteath and Stratherne, 

Mar, .... 


The Gallgaidheal and their lords, 

The Toshachdoracht, 
First appearance of Clans, 
Clan Macduff and its privileges, . 
Description of Highlanders— 1363-1383, 




Raid into Angus in 1391, . 

Combat of two clans on North Inch of Perth in 1 

The Clan Chattan and Clan Cameron, 

The Chief and the Kinsmen, 

The native-men, 


The Clan and its Members, 






State of the Highlands in the sixteenth century, . 
Names and position of the clans, .... 
Meaning of ' Clann,' and the personal names from which their 

patronymics were taken, 
Original importance and position of Clan pedigrees, 
First change in Clan pedigrees. Influence of legendary history 

of Scotland, .... 
Second change. Influence of Irish Sennachies, 
Analysis of the Irish Pedigrees, 
Artificial character of these pedigrees, 
Third Change. Influence of Act 1597, 
Spurious Pedigrees, 
Result of Analysis of Pedigrees, . 
Termination of Clanship in the Highland.'- 







Changes in tenure of land, ..... 368 

Abolition of Calps, ...... 368 

Size of townshijjs, ....... 369 

Occupation of townships, ...... 370 

Average size of township in Central Highlands, . . . 370 

Township in the Islands, . . . . .371 

Highland deer-forests, . . . . .371 

Causes affecting the population in the eighteenth century, . 372 

Townships in the Inner Hebrides in 1850, . . . 374 

Existing townships in the Outer Hebrides, . . . 378 




Translation of a part of the Book of Clanranald, containing the 
Legendary History of the Lords of the Isles as given by 
the MacVurichs, hereditary Sennachies of the Clan, . 397 


Baile Suthain Sith Eamhna, an Irish poem relating to the king- 
dom of the Isles, with a translation by W. M. Hennessy, 
Esq., ........ 410 


The Description of the Isles of Scotland, written 1577-1595, . 428 


On the Authenticity of the Letters Patent said to have been 
granted by King William the Lion to the Earl of Mar in 
1171, ........ 441 


On the Earldom of Caithness, ..... 448 


Original of the Poem on the Lennox, .... 454 


Comparison between the Highland Clans and the Afghaun 

Tribes. Written in 1816 by Sir Walter Scott, . . 456 


Legendary Descent of the Highland Clans, according to Irish 

Mss., ........ 458 

Index, ........ 493 


Scotland, with the ancient divisions of the land, . to fare the Title 





The brightest and most prosperous period in the annals of [;°^^°|.^^^^ 
Scotland was undoubtedly that during which she was under provinces 

■^ ° . "f Scotland 

the rule of the dynasty of kings which sprang from the imion into one 


of the Celtic king Malcolm Ceannmor with the Saxon prin- monarchy 

T i-i- -ic ic completed 

cess Margaret. It was during this period of upwards of a in this 
century and a half that the different provinces of Scotland ^ ^ 
were welded into one feudal monarchy, and the various races 
which inhabited them, and upon the allegiance of each of 
whom the kings of this race had hereditary claims, were 
fused into one mixed population combining the peculiar 
qualities of each. 

The reign of Alexander the Third, the last king of this 
old Celtic dynasty of Scottish kings, saw the concentration of 
the various provinces of Scotland into one compact kingdom 
finally completed by the cession of the Isles in the year 1266. 
Scotland now presented the same geographical platform which 
it ever after possessed. The various races which composed 
its population occupied in the main the same relative posi- 
tion. The kingdom of Scotland could now be no longer 
viewed as a limited Gaelic kingdom, possessing dependencies 
peopled by British, Anglic, or Scandinavian communities, 
but had become a feudal monarchy, the dominant element of 



which wa.s Teutonic, while tlio Celtic population was either 
restricted to tlu; wilder and more mountain re;^don.s, or 
formed the under class of serfs and tillers of the soil. 

It would seem as if the task of amalgamating the dis- 
cordant elements of the population, and of concentrating the 
semi-independent provinces which they peopled, had no 
sooner been completed than the dynasty which effected it 
was to pass away, and a war of succession was to follow, 
which was still further to root up her ancient institutions, 
and to throw the kingdom still more into the hands of kings 
and nobility of an alien race. 

By the death of his only daughter, who had been married 
to the king of Norway, and of his only son in the same year, 
Alexander the Third found that unless he had a male heir by 
a second marriage the succession to the throne would devolve 
upon a little grand-daughter, the Princess of Norway, then 
only two years old, and on her the succession was settled in a 
Parliament held at Scone on the 5th February 1283-4, failing 
such male issue. In the instrument by which the succession 
was so settled the magnates of Scotland bound themselves to 
receive Margaret, daughter of Eric, king of Norway, and of 
Margaret, daughter of King Alexander, as their lady and heir 
of the kingdom of Scotia ; and to acknowledge her and her 
heirs as their liege lady, and the true heir of their sovereign 
in the whole kingdom, and in the island of Man, and all the 
other islands pertaining to the kingdom of Scotia, as well as in 
Tynedale and Penrith, and other dependencies of the kingdom.^ 

Such were the enlarged limits to which the name of 
Scotia, once confined to the districts between the Firth of 
Forth and the river Spey, had now extended ; and the de- 
pendencies of the kingdom, which had then embraced large 

' De toto regno, de insula Man- Penereth cum aliis omnibus juribus 

nise et de omnibus aliis insulis ad et libertatibus ad dictum domiuuni 

dictum regnum Scotioe pertinenti- Regem Scotias spectantibus. — Rjnn. 

bus necnon et de Tyndallia et de Feed, ii, p. 266. 


semi-iudependeiit provinces on the south and west of these 
boundaries, were now reduced to the recently-acquired 
Western Isles, and to the small districts of Tynedale and 
Penrith lying beyond her southern frontier. 

If this process of consolidation, however, may be said to 
liave been completed in the reign of Alexander the Third, it 
can only be held to have properly commenced with that of 
David the First. Prior to his accession, although the rule of 
the Scottish monarchs had extended itself by degrees over 
the districts south of the Forth and Clyde, and then west 
of the Drumalban range and the river Spey, yet the name 
of Scotia was still confined to the eastern districts between 
these limits. These districts formed the real nucleus and 
heart of the kingdom, and were more directly associated 
with her monarchs as kings of the Scots. 

The extension of their power over the southern districts Southern 
commenced about a century after the establishment of the scotiami. 
Scottish dynasty on the Pictish throne, when, in the year 94G, 
the districts forming the kingdom of Cumbria were ceded b} 
Edward the elder to Malcolm king of the Scots. This 
kingdom extended, at that time, from the river Clyde to the 
river Dervvent in Cumberland, and to the cross at Stanniore 
on the borders of Westmoreland and Yorkshire, which 
separated it from the Northumbrian territories. It embraced 
the western districts of Scotland from the Clyde to the 
Solway, the present county of Cumberland, with the excep- 
tion of that part of it which lies on the south of the river 
Derweut and formed the barony of Copeland, and the whole 
of Westmoreland exclusive of the barony of Kendal, which, 
with Copeland and the western districts as far as the borders 
of Wales, belonged to the Northumbrian kingdom. 

Within eighty years afterwards, the districts on the east 
coast extending from the Forth to the Tweed, and consist- 
ing of Lothian and Teviotdale, were ceded to his grandson, 


unother Mukolin. These southern territories were, however, 
ill tlic position of (lependencies on the kingdom of Scotland, 
lying beyond her proper southern frontier and within that 
of England, and were on three different occasions entirely 
separated from the Scottish kingdom : — First during the 
usurpation of Macbeth and the possession of the greater part 
of Scotland by the Norwegian Earl of Orkney, whose joint 
rule certainly did not extend beyond the Forth, while the 
southern districts remained faithful to the family of Duncan ; 
again during the short reign of Donald Ban ; and for a third 
time after the death of Eadgar, when the territories over which 
he had ruled as king were divided between his brothers 
Alexander and David, the former reigning as king over the 
kingdom north of the Forth and Clyde, while the latter ruled 
with the title of Earl over these southern dependencies. The 
southern frontier of the Cumbrian kingdom did not, at this 
time,extend beyond the Solway,for the Norman king, William 
Rufus, had, in the year 1092, wrested that part of it which lay 
between the Solway and the Derwent from Malcolm Ceann- 
mor, and given it to the Norman barou Eanulph de Meschines, 
while Henry i. erected it, with Westmoreland, in 1132, into 
the bishopric of Carlisle. The southern boundary of Earl 
David's possessions had thus become coincident with the 
southern frontier of the later kingdom of Scotland. It was 
only on the accession of David to the throne of Scotland 
that they became permanently united to the kingdom, and 
the name of Cumbria, or Cumberland, was restricted to that 
part of the ancient kingdom of Cumbria which now belonged 
to England. The connection of the royal family with the 
ancient line of the Saxon kings, the training and Norman 
tendencies of David himself, and his marriage with the 
daughter of an Earl of Northumbria, and widow of an Earl 
of Northampton, whose mother was a niece of the Conqueror, 
created a tie between them and the Anglic population of the 


southern districts which was closer thau that which now 
connected him with the Celtic population of the other por- 
tions of the kingdom ; and Lothian assumed that prominent 
position as the most valuable and cherished centre of the 
interests of the monarchy, which had hitherto belonged 
to the region between the Forth and the Spey. 

But while David the First may be held to have established English 

'' possessious 

the Solway, the range of the Cheviots, and the Tweed, as the of the 

. „ 1 , . Scottish 

proper southern boundary of the kingdom of Scotland, his kings, 
marriage gave him claims to territories beyond it, which he 
was disposed to assert when opportunity offered. During 
the life of Matilda, his queen, he had enjoyed in her right 
the earldoms of Northampton and Huntingdon ; but on her 
death, seven years after he had succeeded to the throne of 
Scotland, the earldom of Northampton passed to her son by 
her first marriage, Simon de Senlis, while Henry, her son 
by King David, succeeded to the earldom of Huntingdon. 
The death of Henry, king of England, in 1135, and the 
disputed succession between his daughter the empress of 
Germany and his sister's son Stephen, Earl of Mortaigne, 
presented the opportunity King David longed for. He 
embraced the cause of the empress, who was his niece, and in 
her name took possession of Northumberland, with the excep- 
tion of the castle of Bamborough, which he soon after sur- 
rendered to Stephen, who confirmed the Honor of Huntingdon 
to Prince Henry, with Doncaster and the castle of Carlisle in 
addition to it. In the following year King David again claimed 
the northern provinces in name of his son Prince Henry, and 
both Northumberland and Cumberland were yielded to him ; 
but on peace being made between him and Stephen he sur- 
rendered Northumberland, retaining, however, Cumberland 
in England. An attempt, two years afterwards, to regain 
Northumberland led to the battle of the Standard, in which 
David was defeated; but a peace was concluded in 1139, 


when Northumberland was made over to Prince Henry, 
except the fortresses of Newcastle and Bamborough, which 
he retained to his death in 11 52, when King David had Mal- 
colm, the eldest son of Prince Henry, proclaimed heir to the 
crown, and presented his second son, William, to the North- 
umbrian barons as their ruler. Malcolm had not been four 
years on the throne when he surrendered Northumberland 
and Cumberland to the king of England, which were annexed 
to the English crown, while the king restored to him the 
Honor of Huntingdon. An attempt on the part of his bro- 
ther and successor, William the Lion, to regain these pro- 
vinces, led to the war in which he was defeated and taken 
prisoner in 1173, and Huntingdon was taken from him and 
given to Simon de Senlis ; but on the death of the latter 
in 1184 it was restored to King William, who bestowed 
it upon his youngest brother David, afterwards known as 
David, Earl of Huntingdon, in whose family it remained.- 
The claims of the Scottish kings upon the northern pro- 
vinces of England were renewed by Alexander the Second, 
l)ut through the mediation of Cardinal Otho, the Pope's 
legate, all questions in dispute between England and Scot- 
land were finally settled by an agreement concluded at York 
in September 1237. In lieu of the claims made by Alexander 
upon the earldoms of Northumberland, Cumberland, and 
Westmoreland, as his hereditary right, and for the dowry he 
ought to have received with Johanna, the sister of the kino- 
of England, whom he had married, King Henry undertook to 
convey to the King of Scotland in property, lands in the 
earldoms of Northumberland and Cumberland to the yearly 
value of two hundred pounds.^ The lands so settled upon 
him were Tynedale, also called the barony of Werk, in 

- For this sketch of the attempts Hailes's Annah and Vol. i. of this 
of the Scottish kings to obtain pos- work may be consulted, 
session of these northern provinces. ^ Itymer's Fa>dera ; Palgrave, Re- 

cords, vol. i. pp. ii. 1. 


Northumberland, and the crown demesne in Cumberland, 
consisting of Penrith and other lands, with the exception of 
the castle of Carlisle. 

Such is a short sketch of the attempts made by the kings 
of Scotland to extend their frontiers to the south ; and the 
result was that in the reign of Alexander the Third the 
southern boundary of Scotland was the same as it is at pre- 
sent, but Alexander was left in possession of the lands of 
Tynedale and Penrith beyond it, as a dependency of the king- 
dom, and they remained with his successor John Baliol, when 
they were finally lost to Scotland in the war of independence 
which followed his short and disastrous reign. 

But if the kings of this dynasty struggled vainly to Northern 

° J J no J boundary 

enlarge their boundaries on the south, they were more sue- of Scot- 
cessful in gradually extending the power of the crown over 

the northern and western provinces. David i. by successfully 
defeating and crushing the rebellion of Angus, Earl of Moray, 
in 1130, terminated tlie semi-independent state of that pro- 
vince, and no earl of this province was permitted to exist till 
King Robert Bruce bestowed it upon his nephew Eandolph, 
but its guardianship was committed to different Scottish 
nobles, under the title of Custos Moravia-.* The son of Mal- 
colm MacHeth, who called himself the son of Earl Angus, 
attempted on the accession of Malcolm iv. to regain the 
province with the aid of the powerful Regulus of Argyll, but 
unsuccessfully, and their^ailure was followed by the northern 
seaboard, between Inverness and the Spey, where David i. 
had already planted the royal castle, being to a great extent 
taken from the native chiefs and given to strangers — a policy 
still further followed out by his successor William the Lion, 
who added the district of Pioss, in which he built two castles ; 

■* Dominus autem re.K, circa fes- dereliquit. . . . Erat enim tunc 

tumS. Michaelis (A.D.|1211)rediens temporis ipse (Willelmus Cumyii 

inde cum manu valida, Malcolmum Comes de Buchan) Custos Moraviaj. 

comitem deFyfeMoraviiecustodem — Scotichron. B. viii. c. Ixxvi. 


iiiul tlie cnnvn continued to maintain its control over these 
l)rovinces, notwithstanding occasional attempts on the part 
of the Celti(i inliabitants to regain their independence by 
supporting the pretensions of the families of MacWilliam 
and MacIIeth. Tlie province of Caithness too, which at this 
time included Sutherland, and had for generations helongod 
to the Norwegian earls of Orkney, who held it nominally 
under the king of Scotland with the title of Earl, was at 
length brought by the same monarch more directly under 
the power of the crown, and placed in the same position 
as the other Scottish provinces. By his son Alexander tlio 
Second the still more extensive province of Argathelia or 
Argyll, forming the western seaboard of Scotland, and extend- 
ing from Loch Long, opening off the Firth of Clyde, to the 
borders of Caithness, was brought under subjection, so that 
in the reign of this king the power of the crown was firmly 
established over the whole mainland of Scotland north of the 
Firths of Forth and Clyde. The islands, however, whicli 
surrounded it still belonged to the kingdom of Norway. Th(^ 
Orkney and Shetland Islands had been colonised by the 
Norwegians as early as the ninth century. They had been 
ruled by a line of Norwegian Jarls, who owed submission to 
the king of Norway alone, and though the succession to these 
Jarls opened in the reign of William the Lion to two families 
of Scottish descent, they were still considered as Jarls under 
the Norwegian crown, and the islands did not become con- 
nected with the Scottish kingdom till long after the period 
we are dealing with. The Western Isles, however, stood in a 
different position. Although the Norwegian Vikings had to 
a great extent taken possession of them at the same time that 
they colonised Orkney, and they had been the subject of fre- 
quent contest between the Norwegian Jarl and the Danish 
kings of Dublin, who had acquired possession of the island of 
]\ran, they were still claimed by the Scottish kings as belong- 


ing to their kingdom, till the reign of Edgar, when they were 
formally ceded to the king of Norway. They were at this 
time along with the Isle of Man under the rule of petty kings 
of Norwegian descent, and this line of Norwegian kings of the 
Isles retained the whole till the year 1154, when the kingdom 
of the Isles was divided, and the islands south of the Point of 
Ardnamurchan passed under the rule of the Celtic ruler of 
Argyll, whose claim was derived through a descent in the 
female line from one of the Norwegian kings of the Isles, but 
who still held them nominally under the king of Norway. 
The tie to Norway, however, was becoming weaker and the 
connection with Scotland stronger, when the unsuccessful 
attempt of Hakon, king of Norway, to firmly re-establish his 
power over the whole of the islands in the reign of Alexander 
the Third, and his defeat and death, led to the cession of Man 
and the Isles in the year 126G to the Scottish monarch. And 
in 1284 we find them settled upon the Maid of Norway 
as a dependency of the Scottish kingdom. The Western 
Islands became from this time firmly united to the rest of 
Scotland, while the island of Man, after being in the follow- 
ing century alternately in the possession of the Scots and the 
English, finally passed over to the English crown. 

Such then was, in extent, the Scotland of Alexander the Piiysieui 

rni • 1 • . aspect ol 

Third, and of its physical aspect at this time we can also Scotland in 

... . 11-1 the reign of 

lorm a very lair conception. As early as the third century Alexander 
we are told that the Barbarian tribes beyond the bounds of '^ 
the Eoman province in Britain ' inhabit mountains wild 
and waterless, and plains desert and marshy, having neither 
walls nor cities, nor tillage, but living by pasturage, the chase, 
and certain berries ;' and that ' many parts being constantly 
flooded by the tides of the ocean become marshy.' ^ Had 
the writer of this description ever seen the Scotch mountains, 
])robably 'waterless ' is the very last epithet he would have 

■' It is thus described by Dio in the reign of the Emperor Severus. 


thought of applying to theia ; and though the inhabitants 
are said to have had neither walls nor cities, yet no doubt 
every rock and height showed the rude fortification or hill fort, 
the remains of so many of which are still seen, and ever}- 
rising ground, with its rude collection of huts, would be 
surrounded with its rampart of earth and stones. Adamnan, 
writing in the seventh century, tells us of the fortified resi- 
dence of the king of the Picts on the banks of the river Ness, 
with its royal house and gates, of a village on the banks of a 
lake, and of the houses of the country people. Of the leading 
physical features of the country he tells us too, of the large 
inland lakes. Loch Ness and Loch Awe, and of the range oi' 
mountains forming the backbone of Britain, or great watershed 
dividing the eastern and western waters, and separating the 
Scots from the Picts ; ^ and Bede, in the succeeding century, 
talks of the mountains which separated the southern from 
the northern Picts, and within which the former had seats.^ 

To some extent these features must have still characterised 
the Scotland of Alexander the Third. The aspect of the 
country became gradually altered by the hand of man as he 
advanced in civilisation. The introduction of Christianity, and 
its rapid spread over the country, would fill it with those rude 
Celtic monasteries which were everywhere established, and 
with small Christian colonies, who practised a rude agriculture ; 
forests would be cut down and mosses drained ; and in place 
of ' those marshy parts of the country, constantly flooded by 
the tides of ocean,' would appear those rich carses which border 
the estuaries of her great rivers. The climate would become 
ameliorated, towns and villages would spring up, and a more 
settled mode of life become established among the Celtic tribes 

" Adamnan, 17/. Cohtmho'. ab australibus eorum sunt regio- 

nibus sequestrate. Namque ipsi 

" Provinciis septentrionaliuiu australes Picti, qui intra eosdeni 
Pictorum, hoc est, eis que arduis montes habent sedes. — Hisf. Ec. 
atque horrentibus montium jugis lib. iii. cap. iv. 


which formed her population. An old description of Scotland 
north of the Firths, written in the first year of the reign of 
William the Lion, exhibits of course the same great physical 
landmarks, which do not alter, as still forming the leading 
territorial boundaries. ' This region is said to exhibit the form 
and figure of a man. The chief part of the figure, that is, 
the head, is in Arregaithel, or Argyll, in the west part of 
Scotland, on the Irish Sea. His feet are upon the German 
Ocean. The mountains and deserts of Arregaithel form his 
head and neck, and his body is the range of mountains called 
Mound, or the Mounth, which extends from the western to 
the eastern sea. His arms are the mountains which separate 
Scotia from Arregaithel. His right side is formed from 
Moray, Eoss, ]\Iarr, and Euchan. His legs are these two 
great and principal rivers the Tay and the Spey. Between 
the legs are Angus and Mearns, on this side of the Mounth, 
and other districts on the other side,' that is, Marr and 
Euchan, ' between the Spey and the Mounth.' ^ This descrip- 
tion, which is fanciful enough, would place the head of the 
supposed figure at Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scot- 
land. The body is formed by the great range of hills which 
separated Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire from the counties 
of Eerth, Forfar, and Kincardine, and which forms, as it were, 
tlie backbone of the Grampians, and these are the mountains 
obviously alluded to by Eede as separating the northern from 
the southern Eicts. The arms are formed by the range of 
liills which run at right angles, and are the great watershed 
dividing the eastern and western waters. The southern part 
forming the left arm now separates Argyllshire from Eerth- 
shire, and the northern part, or right arm, divides the western 
seaboard of Inverness-shire and Eoss-shire, which then formed 
part of Argyllshire, from the eastern districts of these counties, 

* De situ Albania? qure in se figuram liominis habet. — Chron. Pkts and 
Scots, p. 135. 


and lliese arc equally plainly tlie Drumalban range, which 
in Adamnan's time divided the Scots from the Picts. 

Upon this scene, during the period when Scotland was 
under the rule of this dynasty, two great additional features 
were introduced. The first consisted of those Norman castles 
or strongholds, either built by the Norman barons to whom 
grants of land had been made, and which contributed so 
greatly to their power in the country, or by the kings of this 
race upon the crown lands ; and around the latter would 
cluster those groups of dwellings, inhabited by traders and 
artisans, which, on the banks or at the mouths of navigable 
rivers, formed the burghs and seaport towns in which the 
trade and commerce of the country was carried on. The 
second great feature consisted of those monasteries founded 
by these kings for communities of regular canons or other 
monastic orders of the Eoman Catholic Church, which, with 
their stone-and-lime buildings, tlie extensive tracts of land 
attached to them, and the industrial habits they fostered, 
would tend greatly to extend the cultivation of the soil, and to 
promote the social condition of the people under theirinfluence. 

We have a somewhat imperfect description of Scotland 
as it was in the time of Alexander the Third, compiled not 
long after his death. It commences at the eastern border 
between England and Scotland, and first names Tyvidale, 
that is, Teviotdale, with its two royal castles of Eokesborow 
or Roxburgh, and Geddeworth or Jedburgh, the latter a 
favourite residence of Alexander the Third. Then follows 
Lothian, with its castles of Berwick, Edinburgh, Dunbar, and 
Strivelyn or Stirling. These two provinces extend, it tells 
us, from the border to Erlesferie and Queneferie, that is, to 
the Eirth of Eorth. In the districts which extend in the 
west from the Clyde to the Solway it names only the new 
castle built upon the Ayr water, and in Galewey, Anandale 
the land of the Lord Robert de Brus, the royal castle of 


L)oimfres or Dumfries, that of Kirkcudbright, belonging to 
William de Ferrers, and the castle of Baleswynton, belonging 
to John de Cumyn. The central districts are not named, but 
here was the extensive forest of Ettrick and Traquair sepa- 
rating the eastern from the western districts. Beyond Lothian, 
it tells us, lay the land of Fif or Fife, in which were the 
burgh of St. Andrews and the castle of Locres or Leuchars. 
Beyond the Firth of Tay was the land of Anegos or Angus, 
in which were the castles of Dundee and Forfar ; and then 
follows ' a certain waste called the Mounth, upwards of sixty 
miles long and sixteen broad, across which a most wretched 
passage can be taken to the north, without food ' (ubi est pessi- 
mum passagium sine cibo). Then follows Mar, and Bouwan or 
Buchan, in which is the burgh of Aberdene with its royal castle. 
Followed by the land of Morref or Moray, with the castles of 
Elgyn and Spiny, and then Ross and Cateneys or Caithness.'' 
This description seems to follow the coast, as the central 
districts of Gowry, Atholl, Stratherne, and Menteath are 
omitted, as well as the district of Arregaithel or Argyll, and 
the enumeration of the castles is very imperfect. Fordun, 
however, gives a view of Scotland in his day which is 
probably equally applicable to the time of Alexander the 
Third, and in which he seems to break out into enthusiastic 
admiration of his native country. ' It is a country,' he says, 
' strong by nature, and difficult and toilsome of access. In 
some parts it towers into mountains ; in others it sinks down 
into plains. For lofty mountains stretch through the midst 
of it from end to end, as do the tall Alps through Europe, 
and these mountains formerly separated the Scots from the 
Picts, and their kingdoms from each other,' — a very accurate 
description of the Drumalban chain, extending through 
Scotland from south to north. ' Impassable as they are on 
horseback, save in very few places,' he proceeds, alluding 

^ Brevis Descriptio regni Scotice. — lb. 214. 


here to the passes into Argyll, ' they can hardly be crossed 
even on foot, both on account of the snow always lying on 
them, except in summer-time only, and by reason of the 
boulders torn off the beetling crags, and the deep hollows in 
Ihcir midst. Along the foot of these mountains are vast 
woods, full of stags, roe-deer, and other wild animals and 
beasts of various kinds. . . . Numberless springs also well 
up, and burst forth from the hills and the sloping ridges of 
the mountains, and trickling down with sweetest sound in 
crystal rivulets between flowery banks, flow together through 
the level vales, and give birth to many streams : and these 
again to large rivers, in which Scotia marvellously abounds 
beyond any oilier country ; and at their mouths, where they 
rejoin the sea, she has noble and secure harbours. Scotia 
also has tracts of land bordering on the sea, pretty level and 
rich, with green meadows, and fertile and productive fields of 
corn and barley, and well adapted for growing beans, peas, 
and all other produce ; destitute, however, of wine and oil 
though by no means so, of honey and wax. But in the 
upland districts, and along the highlands, the fields are less 
productive, except only in oats and barley. The country is 
there very hideous, interspersed with moors and marshy 
fields, muddy and dirty. It is, however, full of pasturage 
grass for cattle, and comely with verdure in the glens along 
the watercourses. This region abounds in wool-bearing sheep, 
and in horses ; and its soil is grassy, feeds cattle and wild 
l)easts, is rich in milk and wool, and manifold in its wealth 
of fish in sea, river, and lake.^*^ 

We can thus, in some degree, picture to ourselves the 
Scotland of this period. Instead of the large tracts of culti- 
vated land and the modern mansions of its possessors sur- 
rounded by plantations, we should see forests of trees of 
native growth, from amid which, or on their margin, would 

^^ Fordun's Chronicle of Scotland, B. ii. ce. vii. and viii. vol. ii. pp. .36-7. 


rise the towers of the royal castles, or those of the Norman 
barons. We should see small patches of cultivated land, in- 
terspersed with long stretches of barren heath. In sheltered 
valleys we should find the seats of the early bishoprics of the 
Celtic Church, and the more imposing monasteries of the 
regular clergy and monastic orders subsequently introduced, 
surrounded by a greater extent of cultivated land, and with 
the huts of the occupiers of the soil clustering round. On the 
banks of the navigable rivers, or at their mouth, we should 
find settlements of the trading and industrial population pro- 
tected by rude walls ; and we should find the northern and 
western districts exhibiting very much the same characteris- 
tics as they did during the succeeding centuries : — the two 
great leading mountain chains of the Mounth and Drumalban 
forming a succession of hunting-grounds or forests, left to the 
red-deer and other game ; the minor chains leading from them 
to the south-east and north-east terminating abruptly on the 
lowland plains, and forming a great mountain barrier, extend- 
ing on the south in an oblique line from Ben Lomond to the 
great range of the Mounth near Stonehaven, and on the north 
from the same range at Ballater to the river Nairn, through 
which the great rivers rising among the western hills pour 
their waters, through narrow gorges which form the passes 
into the mountain region. Within this line the country 
would be mainly used for pasturage, and its natural defences 
would render but few artificial fortifications necessary. 

Durius the period when the boundaries of Scotland had Pppuiatiou 

f^ ^ of Scotland 

been thus extended by the kings of this dynasty, its popula- in the reign 

"^ _ .of Alex- 

tion was composed of several distinct races, partly of Teutonic auder the 

. . p . in • 1 Third coni- 

and partly of Celtic origin, forming a people oi very mixed loosed of six 
descent, in which the Teutonic element was gradually pre- 
dominatinij more and more over the Celtic, and either absorb- 
ing the latter or confining it to the more barren and moun- 
tain regions of the country. The constituent elements of tliis 


|tnpul;Uiuu bore .^ix. cliirercnt iiaines. These were the Picts and 
theCumbrians or Britons, the Scots and Angles, theNorwegians, 
and the Franks or Normans, and we find them distinguished 
by these names under the rule of the Scoto-Saxon monarchs, 
till they gradually become merged in the general name of 
Scots. Thus the charters of Eadgar and Alexander tlie First 
are addressed to their subjects, both Scots and Angles. Those 
b}' David the First and Malcolm the Fourth sometimes to 
Scots and Angles, at other times to Franks or Normans and 
Angles, and frequently to Franks and Angles, Scots and Gal- 
wegians or Picts, while in the charters of the subsequent 
kings these distinctions disappear. When the whole force of 
the kingdom was called out by David the First at the inva- 
sion of England which terminated in the disastrous battle of 
the Standard, we find that his army, according to Ptichard 
of Hexham, was composed of Normans, Germans, Angles, 
Northumbrians and Cumbrians of Teviotdale, of Lothian, of 
Picts commonly called Galwegians, and of Scots/^ while, 
according to Ailred, the army was arranged in the following 
battalions. The first was composed of the Galuenses or Gal- 
wegian Picts ; the second of the Cumberenses and Teviot- 
dalenses or Britons of Strathclyde and Teviotdale ; the third 
of the Laodonenses, Insulani, and Lauernani, that is, a mixed 
battalion of Angles of Lothian, Norwegians of the Isles, and 
the Gaelic people of the Lennox ; and the king had in his own 
battalion the Scotti and Muravenses, that is, the people of 
Scotland between the Forth and the Spey and of the great 
province of Moray, which he had recently subjected, beyond 
it, and along with them ' Milites Angli et Franci,'^- or Saxon 
and Norman barons. 
Indigenous Of thesc raccs two only were indigenous, and the rest 

races of the . . . . 

Briton.s and '^ Coadunatus autem erat iste Lodonea, de Pictis, qui vulgo Galle- 

Picts. nefandus exercitus de Normannis, weienses dicuntur, et Scottis. — Rio. 

Germanis, Anglis, de Nortliymbra- Hagustald. ad an. 1138. 

iiis et Cumbris, de Teswetadala, de ^' Fordun's Ghron. vol. i. App. i. 


were intruders. To the indigenous races belonged the Cum- 
brians or Britons south of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, and 
the Picts, who originally inhabited the whole country north 
of these estuaries, as well as Galloway and a considerable 
part of Ireland. Both belonged to the Celtic race, the former 
to that branch of it, the dialect of which is represented by the 
Welsh, Cornish, and Breton, and perhaps in the main most 
nearly approached the Cornish in the form of their speech. 
But whether the Picts were altogether a homogeneous people 
may perhaps be a question. From the time when they first be- 
came known to the Romans, they appear throughout as divided 
into two branches ; but whether the expression of the Ptonian 
historian, when he terms these two divisions of the Pictish 
people two nations, indicates any diversity of race, or whethei-, 
as the language of Bede rather implies, the distinction was 
simply geographical, certainly in one important respect they 
for a time showed a material difference, for the southern Picts 
adopted Christianity at a much earlier period than the north- 
ern Picts, and they were so far disunited that the conversion 
of the former did not imply that of the whole nation, and for 
a century and a half, while the southern portion were nomi- 
nally Christian, the northern half remained Pagan. Every 
circumstance, however, connected with them, tends to show 
that the Picts who inhabited the northern and western regions 
of Scotland, as well as Galloway and. the districts in Ireland, 
belonged to the Gaelic race and spoke a Gaelic dialect, while 
the southern Picts, placed between them and a British people, 
present features which appear to assimilate them to both ; 
and the conclusion we came to was that they were probabl}' 
originally of the same Gaelic race, while a British element had 
entered into their language, either from mixture with tliat 
people, or from some other influence arising from their contact. 

The sixth century brought in both an additional Gaelic Colonising 

l'3.CtiS 01 

and a Teutonic element into the population of this part of Scots ami 


VOL. in. li 


Britain, for in the beginning of that century a colony of Scots 

from Ireland, who were undoubtedly a Gaelic people, settled 

on the l)urren coasts on the nortli side of the Firth of Clyde, 

and the same century saw tlie eastern seaboard, extending 

from tlie Tweed to the Inrth of Forth, in possession of the 

Angles of Northumberland ; while there is reason to believe 

that some parts of the country between these limits had been 

previously partially settled by Frisian tribes belonging to the 

great Saxon confederation. 

iiitrudiug In the ninth century the great outburst of piratical ad- 

races of 1 O T • 

Danes, Nor- venturers from the Scandmavian shores brought first the 
and ' Danes and afterwards the Norwegians to Scotland, and the 
. orm. lis. -^^^^Q^, j-^Q^ Qj^jy colonised the Orkney and Shetland Islands 
but became masters of the Western Isles, and from time to 
time of considerable districts on the mainland of Scotland. 
During the reigns of the earlier kings of this dynasty the 
Saxon influence was largely increased by those who either 
took refuge in Scotland from the power of the Norman Con- 
([ueror or were attracted by the connection of these kings 
through their mother with the Saxon royal family ; while 
David the First introduced the Norman barons, who obtained 
large tracts of laud on both sides of the Firths of Forth and 
Clyde under his auspices and that of his immediate successors. 
iiirtuence of In estimating the extent to which these foreign elements 
races^oii influenced the original inhabitants, and how far they formed 
popi^Mioii. a permanent ingredient in the mixed population, it is neces- 
sary to keep in view the circumstances under which they 
obtained a footing in the country, and the peculiar features 
which characterised the intruders. Did they enter the 
country as colonists or as conquerors ? If the former, did 
they come as military colonists? or did they bring theii' 
wives and families with them ? Or, if the latter, did they 
amalgamate with the conquered population so as to form one 
people, the language and institutions of one or other obtaining 


tlie mastery over the whole 1 or did they exterminate or drive 
them out ? or were the remains of the conquered people re- 
tained as a servile class under the conquerors'? The first 
recorded settlements whicli have a historical basis were those 
of the Scots on the west coast and of the Angles on the east. 
Of these the Scots appear to have come more as colonists than 
as invaders. They were a tribe of Scots who came from the 
district of Dalriada in Ireland in the beginning of the sixth 
century, and brought that name with them which was applied 
to the southern part of the great western district of Argyll. 
They belonged to the same Gaelic race as the Pictish tribes 
among whom they were settled, and the oldest tradition as 
reported by Bede cannot tell whether ' they secured to 
themselves these settlements by fair means or by force of 
arms.'^^ The conversion of the northern Picts to Christianity 
by the Irish missionary St. Columba, and the establishment 
of a Christian church among them under Scottish clergy, now 
formed a bond of union between them ; and it is recorded by 
Bede that up to the time when he wrote his History their 
mutual boundaries had remained unaltered. In the same 
century the Angles of Bernicia, under the sons of Ida, who 
had founded that kingdom, obtained possession of the districts 
extending along the east coast as far as the Firth of Porth. 
They were a Pagan people, conquering a Christian population 
of a different race and language from themselves ; and there 
.seems little reason to question tliat this settlement was only 
effected after a fierce and prolonged struggle between the 
Angles and the native pojDulation, by which, after varied for- 
tunes on either side, the latter were eventually either exter- 
minated or driven into the more hilly and barren regions on 
the west. There were thus formed four distinct kingdoms, 
which remained independent of each other during the sixth, 

'■^ Qui duce Reuda de Hibeniia met inter eos sedes qiias hacteniis 
piogressi vel aniicitia vel ferro sibi- habeiit, vindicarent. — Bede, i. c. l'. 

20 SCOTLAND I'NDKi; .M-KXANhKK III. |nnoK in. 

seventh, and eighth centuries, viz. those of the Ticts and of the 
Cumhrian Ik-itons consisting of tlie two indigenous races, and 
those of the Scots of JJalriada and Angles of Bernicia estab- 
lished by two of the intruding peoples ; and their mutual 
boundaries had remained unaltered down to the period when 
Bede wrote in the eighth century. 
Foreign It was not till the ninth century that those changes in 

hitroduced thcir relative position commenced which ultimately led to 
latiouT" their fusion into one mixed population. A revolution in 
Cumbrian '^ that ccntury led to a dynasty of kings of Scottish descent 
territories. ]^gjj-,g permanently placed on the Pictish throne, and to a 
Scottish element being largely and to an increasing extent 
introduced into the Pictish population. The capital of the 
Pictish kingdom had at this time been Scone, and around 
this central point the new Scottish monarchy had its chief 
influence, and in the neighbouring districts the new Scottish 
population would be most numerous. The province of Fife 
seems to have been considered as their main seat, and they 
appear to have spread over the central districts of the region 
extending from the Forth to the great barrier of the Mounth, 
while the more independent portion of its Pictish population 
appear at its two extremities in the firu Fortren or men of 
Fortren, who had their chief stronghold in Dundurn at the 
eastern end of Lochearn, and in the viri de Moerne or men of 
Mearns, whose principal fortress was Dnnfother or Dunnottar 
at Stonehaven. These Scots and Picts, belonging to the same 
Gaelic race and speaking kindred dialects, would amalgamate 
readily enough, and they would probably be found at this 
time established alongside of each other in homesteads some 
of which would be Scottish and others Pictish, — a state of 
matters of which we find examples in northern Eussia, where 
the earlier Finnish population and the intruding Slavs occupy 
respective villages, and in parts of Greece, where the distri- 
bution of the Albanian and the Greek population presents 


the same features. This view of the distribution of the Scot- 
tish and Pictish communities in the new kingdom of Alban, 
to which the name of Scotia was soon applied, will to some 
extent account for the strange interlacing in this part of 
the country of the three earliest dioceses of Dunkeld, of 
Abernethy, afterwards represented by the dioceses of Dun- 
blane and Brechin, and of St. Andrews, — the two former 
being traditionally connected with the Pictish name, and the 
latter closely identified with the Scottish people. Diocesan 
boundaries are usually found to reflect more ancient etlmic 

The Scottish dynasty of kings had not occupied the 
Pictish throne for more than sixty or seventy years when 
the failure of the line of British kings of the Strathclyde 
Britons, and the election of a brother of the Scottish king t(j 
he their successor, placed a similar dynasty of Scottish kings 
on the tlirone of the Cumbrian kingdom, and made its 
eventual cession to the Scottish monarch a more natural and 
easy arrangement ; and the cession of Lothian in the follow- 
ing century completed the territorial formation of the later 
Scottish kingdom. 

Such being the state of matters when the dynasty of kin<'s Spread of 

"^ . J J .-- Teutonic 

sprung from the union of JVIalcolm Ceannmor with the Saxon people over 
i-»- -nT 11 1 • 1 • 1 ^11 them. 

fnncess Margaret ruled over this knigdom, we find when 
we reach the reign of Alexander the Third that a great change 
has taken place. The British speech has entirely disappeared 
from the district forming the ancient Strathclyde kingdom, 
and their population now speak the same Northumbrian or 
northern dialect of English with the people of Lothian ; while 
this Teutonic language has likewise spread over the eastern 
districts extending from the Forth to the Moray Firth, where 
in the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor that Celtic king had had 
to interpret the Saxon speech of his queen to its inhabitants, 
and the indigenous Gaelic vernacular was now confined to 


the mountain regions of the North and West north oi' the 
Firths oi' Forth and (-lyde, wldle the peojde of Lennox and 
Galloway, within the linnts of the ancient Cumbrian king- 
dom, likewise retained their Gaelic speech. There had, there- 
fore, taken place in these districts a silent revolution, of 
which history has taken little note. 

Besides the violent or organic changes produced in a 
population by the invasion or colonisation of a foreign people 
which history marks, and the effects of which we can trace 
in the events recorded in the annals of the country, there is 
another silent and inorganic spread of one race over the 
territory of another, the eventual results of which are appa- 
rent enough, and the causes which led to it may be divined, 
but the steps of its progress are less easily marked. In the 
one, whole nations or tribes take possession of part or the whole 
of new districts ; in the other, they spread not collectively 
but in families or groups. In the one, the inroad is effected 
by force or by direct convention. In the other, it is the 
result of natural causes arising from the contact of two races 
possessing different qualities and states of civilisation, and 
from the influence which the force of character of one people 
may exercise over another. Their influence, too, upon the 
spoken language and the place-names of the people presents 
itself in different aspects. In the one, the language of the 
invading people is established as the language of tlie country 
when the subject population has been exterminated or driven 
out, and the older place-names are either adopted into the 
language or changed at once. In tlie other, the silent and 
gradual inorganic colonisation changes by degrees the spoken 
language, but not the bulk of the place-names. The great 
natural features of the country usually retain the names 
imposed upon them by its original inhabitants, but those of 
the homesteads occupied by the colonising race assume the 
forms of their language, and those applicable to the dwellings 
of man only remain unchanged when the original people have 


lingered longer, or when the name is expressive of some 
common natural feature, which has been readily adopted as 
such by the intruders. Topography thus affords us some help 
in indicating the presence of the stranger, and marking the 
extent to which the race to which he belongs has spread 
over the country. 

When Earl David, as Prince of Cumbria, proposed to 
restore the ancient church of Glasgow, and asked the elders 
and wise men of Cumbria to inquire into the ancient posses- 
sions of that church, they told him that after Kentigern, the 
founder of the church, and several of his successors, had 
passed to God, ' various seditions and insurrections rising all 
around not only destroyed the church and its possessions, 
but, laying waste the whole country, delivered its inhabit- 
ants into exile. Thus, also, all good beinjf exterminated, 
after a considerable interval of time different tribes of differ- 
ent nationalities pouring in from different parts inhabited this 
deserted country, but being of separate race, speaking a dis- 
similar language, and living after different fashion, not easily 
agreeing among themselves, they maintained paganism rather 
than the cultivation of the faith. The Lord, however, who 
wills that none should perish, was pleased to visit, in his 
clemency, these unhappy inhabitants of a condemned habita- 
tion, irrationally dwelling after the manner of beasts. In the 
days of Henry, king of England, Alexander reigning as king 
in Scotia, God sent them David, brother-german of the fore- 
said king, as prince and leader, who corrected their obscene 
and wicked contagion, and bridled their contumelious contu- 
macy with nobleness of soul and inflexible severity.'^* This 
picture, coloured no doubt to deepen the shade of the past, 

'^ Dicto namque Kentegerno destnixerunt, verum etiam totam 

pluribusque successoribus suis pie regioneni vastantes, ejus habita- 

religiouis perseverantia ad Deiim tores exilio tradidei-unt. Sic ergo 

transmigratis, diverse seditiones omnibus bonis exterminatis, magnis 

circumquaque insurgentes, non so- temporum intervallis transactis, 

lum Ecclesiam et ejus possessiones diverse tribus diversai'um nationem 


and to brighten the prospects of the country under David's 
rule, still sufficiently indicates the belief that the British 
inhabitants had to a great extent deserted the country, and 
that it had been repeatedly laid waste by foreign nations, who 
had eventually settled in the country. The allusion to the 
paganism of some refers probably to the Norwegians and 
Danes, the former of whom in 870 besieged their capital 
Alclyde, now Dumbarton, and destroyed it after a few months' 
siege, and carried a great host of prisoners with them to 
Ireland into captivity, and five years afterwards the Britons 
of Strathclyde and Picts of Galloway were ravaged by the 
Danes of Northumberland. A Welsh chronicle, attributed 
to Caradoc of Llancarvan, tells us that in '891 the men of 
Strathclyde, who would not unite with the Saxons, were 
obliged to leave their country, and go to Gwynedd or North 
Wales.' '^ In 945 it was ravaged by Edmund, king of 
Wessex, and ceded to the Scots. In 1000, Ethelred, king of 
Wessex, entered Cumbria, ravaged it nearly all, and it was 
again laid waste ; and in 1070, Gospatric, Earl of Northum- 
bria, having collected a considerable force, made a furious 
incursion into the Cumbrian kingdom, then under the do- 
minion of the Scottish king ]\Ialcolm, spreading slaughter 
and conflagration on all sides. These notices sufficiently 

ex diversis partibus affluentes, de- germanum, in jjrincipem et duceni ; 

sertam regionem prefatam habitave- qui eorum impudica et scelerosa con- 

runt ; sed dispari genere et dissiinili tagia corrigeret, et aniini iiobilitate 

lingua et vario more viventes, baud et inflexibili severitate contumelio- 

facile [inter] sese consentientes, gen- sani eorum contumatiam refrenaret. 

tilitatem potius quam fidei cultuni — Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, 

tenuere. Quos infelices dampnate vol. ii. part i. p. 17. 
liabitationis babitatores, more pe- 

cudum irrationabiliter degentes, ^^ 'pi^jg cbronicle was printed 

dignatus est Uominus, Qui nemi- from tbe Book of Aberpergwm in 

nem vult perire, propitiatione Sua tbe Myvyriwi Archa'ology, vol. ii., 

visitare ; tempore enim Heurici and reprinted, with a translation, 

Regis Anglie, Alexandro Scotorum in theArcJurologia Cambrensis, vol. 

rege in Scotia regnante, misit eis ix., Third Series, but its authority 

Deus David, predicti Regis Scotie is very doubtful. 


bear out that feature in the dark picture of the past history 
of the British kingdom, and we may well believe that under 
these repeated devastations, and under the Scottish dominion, 
its Welsh population, isolated in the north between Picts, 
Scots, and Angles, and harassed by incessant invasions, 
would gradually retreat to their mother country of Wales, 
and that their neighbours would gradually settle in the 
partially deserted country. 

There are some indications of earlier settlements among 
them of Frisians, who left their name in Dunfres, the town 
of the Frisians, as Dunbreatan or Dumbarton is the town of 
the Britons,^'* and the subjection of the Cumbrian kingdom 
to the Angles of Northumbria for thirty years prior to 685 
must have had an effect on its population ; but, be this as it 
may, the neighbouring Anglic population, attracted by her 
fertile plains and valleys, appear at a later period to have 
made their way into the upper valley of the Tweed and Teviot, 
and along the banks of the great watercourse of the Clyde, 
and to the plains of Renfrew and Ayr, where they have left 
evidence of their settlements in the numerous Saxon place- 
names ending with the generic terms of ton and hamc, while 
the northern district, where the limits of the Cumbrian king- 
dom penetrated into the mountains — the district surrounding 
the romantic lake of Loch Lomond — seems soon to have ac- 
quired a Gaelic population, and became known as the Levenach 
or Lennox. The Gaelic population of Galloway at the same 
time appear to have encroached upon the southern limit of 
Ayrshire and peopled the district of Carrick with a Gaelic 
race. Extensive territories too were granted by Earl David 
to his Norman followers. The great district of Annandale 
was given to De Bruce. The adjacent districts of Eskdale 

'8 When Kentigern was preach- their god Woden had been a mere 

ing to the pagan people at Hoddam, man. — See Paper on Early Frisian 

in Dumfriesshire, the chief point of Settlements, Proceedings Ant. Scot., 

his sermon was to show them that vol. iv. p. 169. 

26 SC()T[,ANI) UNDKI; ALKXANDEl! III. bouk iii. 

aud Ewisdale were tilled with Xormaus, The De ^lorevilles 
obtained Cuninghame or the northern district of Ayrshire, 
and the Norman Fitzallan, who became the Steward of Scot- 
land, acquired Strathgryff, or Renfrew and part of Kyle. 
These Norman barons settled their Northumbrian followers 
on their lands, and thus almost the whole of the ancient king- 
dom of the Cumbrian Britons became soon entirely Saxonised. 

A similar process seems to have commenced in the eastern 
districts north of the Forth after the union of the Celtic 
monarch with the Saxon princess had given the Saxon influence 
predominance in the country, and stamped his children with 
the character and feeling of Saxon monarchs, which soon pro- 
duced a similar result. We find Saxon barons, who fled to 
Scotland from the power of the Norman Conqueror, acquiring 
lands in the province of Fife. The burghs founded by the 
kings of this race on the crown lands were filled with Saxon 
and Flemish traders, and the latter people obtained grants of 
land. Thus we find ^lalcolni the Fourth granting the lands of 
Innes ' Beroaldo Flandrensi,' and David, Earl of Huntingdon, 
grants lands in Garrioch to ]\Ialcolm, son of Bertolf, a Flemish 
name, and his charter is addressed to ' all good men of his 
Idngdom, French or Normans, English or Angles, Flemish 
and Scotch.' ^' The great religious houses established by them 
brought southern ecclesiastics into the northern parts of the 
kingdom, who were accompanied by a southern following; and 
on the extensive church lands we find the sole remains of the 
Celtic population appearing as serfs, under the Celtic appella- 
tions of ' Cumlawes' and ' Cumherbes,'^^ and large territories 
speedily passed into the possession of Norman barons, who 
settled them with their own followers. 

In the scanty records which throw light upon the history 

of the land in these districts, we can see the Gaelic name of 

the land-owners gradually becoming more and more restricted, 

I'FourthReportofHist. MSS.Com.jApp. p. 493. ^'^ Chart. 80071,1^.24. 


and retreating before the Teutonic settlers. We can see 
more and more of the land becoming feudalised, and being 
held by the followers of the barons in military tenure. The 
church lands, forming a large proportion of the whole, 
became in fact agricultural colonies of strangers. In the 
crown lands alone the older land tenures maintained their 
position for a time, though there too the increasing im- 
portance of the royal burghs, and the gradual advance of 
their Saxon inmates into the surrounding land, soon carried 
the Saxon tongue into them ; and thus the old Celtic king- 
dom of Alban or Scotia, extending from the Firth of Forth 
to the river Spey, had in the reign of Alexander the Third 
assumed an entirely Teutonic aspect, while wliat Fordun tells 
us of Malcolm the Fourth, that ' having gathered together 
a large army, the king removed the rebel nation of the 
Moravienses from the land of their birth, as of old Nebuchad- 
nezzar, king of Babylon, had dealt with the Jews, and scattered 
them throughout the other districts of Scotland, both beyond 
the mountains,' that is, the Mounth, ' and on this side thereof, 
so that not even one native of that land abode there, and 
installed therein his own peaceful people,' ^^ is probably to 
some extent true in so far as regards the inhabitants of the 
plain country extending from the Spey along the southern 
shore of the Moray Firth to the river Nairn, in which the 
royal castles of Elgin, Forres, and Nairn were situated, and 
which formed the three small sheriffdoms of these names. 
It is not at all unlikely that that king, or his successor AVil- 
liam the Lion, should have adopted the policy of interposing 
between the native population, ' who,' Fordun tells us, ' would, 
for neither prayers nor bribes, neither treaties nor oaths, leave 
off their disloyal ways, or their ravages among their fellow- 
countrymen,' and the frontier of the province a tract of 
country, garrisoned, as it were, with the more settled people 
of the lowlands. 

'8 Fordun, Chron. (Annals, iv.) ed. 1S72, vol. ii. p. '2o\. 


Norwegian Hut if tliis silent and gradual immigration of tlie Teutonic 

kinpdoiii ol ° ° 

the Isles, people thus took place into the southern and eastern districts 
of the country north of the Forth and Clyde, and either ab- 
sorbed its Celtic inhabitants or gradually drove them back 
into the more mountainous regions, the latter were exposed 
to a more direct assault from another people of Teutonic race 
on the north and west, which, however, did not produce the 
same permanent effect upon the population. This was that 
strange and sudden appearance in the northern and western 
seas of a piratical horde of sea-robbers, which issued from the 
Scandinavian countries lying to the north of Germany. The 
first to make their appearance were the Danes, and though 
they repeatedly ravaged the "Western Isles and destroyed the 
Christian monasteries, they effected permanent settlements 
only in Ireland, and in the northern provinces of England 
forming the ancient kingdom of Northumbria. They were 
followed by the Norwegians, who appear to have been more 
attracted by the islands surrounding Scotland, and thus came 
more immediately in contact with the Gaelic population of 
Scotland. They entirely occupied the islands of Orkney and 
Shetland, which they colonised ; and took possession of the 
Western Isles, without, however, driving out or absorbing the 
previous inhabitants of Gaelic race. 

By the ( laelic people these northern ravagers were termed 
either Gcinnfc or Gentiles as being pagans, or Gall or Stran- 
gers as being foreigners, and the two races of the Danes and 
Norwegians were distinguished by the terms Duhhgcinnte or 
Dubhgall, that is, black pagans or black strangers, and Finn- 
gcinntc or Finngall^"^ white pagans or white strangers, and 
the Western Islands were termed Innsigall, or the Islands of 
the Strangers, while the Norwegians themselves called them 

-* The names Dubhgall and Finn- belong to a large class of names end- 

gall must not be confounded, as ing with the syllable gaJ, signifying 

is usually done, with the Chi'istian ralour. 
names Dubhgal and Fingal, which 


the Sudreys or Southern Islands, to distinguish them from 
the Nordereys or Northern Islands, that is, the Orkney and 
Shetland Islands.-^ 

That the Norwegians did not so thoroughly colonise the The Gail - 

. gaidheal. 

Western Isles and absorb its Gaelic population, as was the 
case with the Orkney and Shetland Islands, may have arisen 
from their finding in the former a more dense population, 
and also that they appear to have used the Sudreys more as a 
kind of stepping-stone to other settlements, or as temporary 
strongholds, rather than as places for lasting settlements, and 
thus their Norwegian population was generally of a more 
transient and fluctuating character ;^2 but this was mainly true 
of the earlier period of their occupation only, and a more 
important ground of difference arose from the Gaelic popula- 
tion of the Western Isles more nearly assimilating themselves 
to the character of the Norwegian sea-robbers. They seem to 
have submitted easily to their rule, and to have adopted their 
habits, so that when one of the great Norwegian Vikings, 
Ketill Elatnose, succeeded in establishing a petty kingdom in 
the Isles in opposition to the rapidly increasing power of 
Harald Harfager, the first monarch who acquired the dominion 
of all Norway, we find the Isles said by the Sagas to be in 
the possession of Scotch and Irish Vikings, and Ketill appears 
in the Irish Annals under the name of Caittil Finn as the 
leader of a people called the Gallgaidheal, a name applied to 
those Gaidheal who became subject to the Norwegians, and 
conformed to their mode of life. Harald, however, eventually 
conquered both the Orkney Islands and the Sudreys or West- 
ern Isles. The former came under the rule of a line of Nor- 
wegian Jarls, who, by the marriage of one of them with the 
daughter of ' Dungadr, Jaii of Katenes,' that is, of Duncan, 

-' There is no foundation for the is contradicted by the language of 

usual statement that the Sudreys the Sagas. 

meant merely the islands south of -- Th is is Munch's opinion. Seehis 

the Point of Ardnamurchan, which Chronicle of Man, preface, p. xviii. 


the Celtic Mormaer of Caitlmess, added that province to their 
dominions ; and the Norwegian population seem to have as 
completely colonised the eastern and level part of Caithness 
as they did the Orkney Islands. 

Harald appears to have governed the Western Isles by 
Norwegian Jarls, but his hold upon tliem was slight, and ap- 
parently ceased with his death, and they became merely the 
haunt of stray Vikings until the middle of the following cen- 
tury, when their possession was contested between the Danes 
of Dublin and Limerick, who had got a firm hold of the Island 
(jf Man, and the Norwegian Jarls of Orkney. One of the 
principal leaders of the Danes of Dublin, Anlaf Cuarau, had 
become connected with the Scottish King Constantine, and 
appears to have exercised some authority over the islands ; 
but at the great battle of Brunanburgh, in which he and his 
father-in-law Constantine were engaged., we find the death of 
Geleachan, King of the Isles, recorded, as well as that of 
Cellach, a prince or Mormaer of Scotland,-'^ names which un- 
doubtedly show a Gaelic form. Soon after we find Maccus 
or Magnus, son of Aralt, a leader of the Danes of Limerick, 
called King of Many Islands, and a struggle took place 
between his brother and successor Godfred, son of Aralt, 
called King of Innsigall, and Sigurd, Norwegian Jarl of 
Orkney, for the possession of the western Isles, wlieu the 
former was slain by the Gaelic people of Dalriada or Argyll, 
and the Isles were acquired by the Orkney Jarl, who soon 
after added to his territories the western and northern dis- 
tricts of Scotland. His territories are said in the Sagas to 
have consisted, besides Orkney and the Sudreys, of Katanes, 
Sudrland, jNIyrhaevi or Moray, and Dali or the glens of 
Argyll, on the west, and we find a Jarl Gilli apparently ruling 
the Isles, whose principal seat was the island of Coll, and 
whose name has a Gaelic form.-* He pays scatt or tribute to 

'-■' Annals of the. Four Mafiter.<, -'■* Dasent, .So .7a of Burnt Njal, 

vol. i. p. 634. vol. ii. pp. 12. 39. 40. 


Sigurd, and obtained his sister in marriage. Under Sigurd's 
son Thorfinn, the most powerful of the Orkney Jarls, after the 
defeat and death of King Duncan in 1040, the whole of the 
northern districts of Scotland, as far as the river Tay, fell 
under the power of the Norwegians, who likewise possessed the 
Sudreys or Western Isles and the Gaelic district of Galloway, 
while Macbeth, the Mormaer of Moray, ruled as king over 
the dominions left to him, and the other districts south of the 
Firths of Forth and Clyde adhered to the family of Duncan ; 
but on the deatli of Thorfinn, we are told that the additional 
territories acquired by him fell back to their native lords. 
Malcolm, the son and heir of Duncan, succeeded in defeating 
and killing the usurper Macbeth, and his successor Lulach, 
also of the family of the Mormaers of Moray, and establishing 
himself as king over the same territories which had been pos- 
sessed by his father. The Western Isles pass for a time 
under the power of an Irish king of Leinster, which shows 
how powerful the Gaelic element in their populations still 
was, and on his death fell under the authority of the Crown. 
At this time the Isle of Man was in the possession of the 
Danish kings of Dublin, but a powerful Norwegian Viking 
who had joined the expedition of Harald, king of Norway, 
in 1066, with his followers, and fought at the battle of 
Stamford Bridge, succeeded after that defeat in driving the 
Danes out of Man and extending his power over the Western 
Isles, where he founded a new dynasty of Norwegian kings 
of the Isles. He is termed in the Chronicle of Man Godred 
Crovan, and, in the Irish Annals, Goffraig Meranach, king of 
the Galls of Dublin and the Isles, where his death,-^ which, 
according to the Chronicle of Man, took place in the island of 
Isla, is recorded in 1095. The Isles had, however, two years 

"5 Goifraig Meranach ri Gall mor- Meranach tighearna Gall Athacliath 

tuns est. — An. Ult. ad an. 1095. agus ua ninnsidh. — Annals of flie 

Atbath don mhortladh chetna (of Four Masters, vol. ii. p. 950. 
the same pestilence died) Gofraidh 


before been invaded by Magnus, king of Norway, and brought 
under his dominion, and were eventually formally ceded to 
him by King Eadgar in the beginning of his reign, who thus, 
for a time, terminated their nominal connection M'ith the 
Scottish kingdom. After the death of King Magnus, we find 
the leading men of the Isles applying to the king of Ireland 
to send them some person of worth of the royal family to act 
as their king till Olave, the son of Godred, should grow up, 
and Donald, son of Tadg, was sent, who is said in the Annals 
of Innisfallen to have acquired the kingdom of Innsigall 
by force,^^ but was driven out when the king of Norway sent 
a Norwegian named Ingemund. But on his attempting 
to have himself appointed king, he was attacked and slain 
by the chief men of the Isles, and Olave, the son of Godred 
Crovau, was established as king over all the Isles, and ruled 
them for forty years. The Norwegians at this time still pos- 
sessed the western seaboard of Scotland north of the Firth of 
Clyde, and the district of Galloway. According to the Red 
Book of Clanranald, 'All the islands from j\Ian?inn, or the 
Isle of Man, to Area, or the Orkneys, and all the bordering 
country from Dun Bretan, or Dumbarton, to Cata, or Caith- 
ness, in the north, were in the possession of the Lochlannach or 
Norwegians, and such of the Gaedhal of those lands as remained 
were protecting themselves in the woods and mountains.' -' 

This is probably a true picture of the relative posi- 
tion of the Norwegian and the Gaelic population at this 
time, and is no doubt equally applicable to the district of 
Galloway ; but, during the rule of Olave over the Isles, a 
simultaneous effort seems to have been made by the Gaelic 
inhabitants of both districts to free this mainland border 
country from the presence of the Norwegians. The 
leader of the native Gaelic population of Argyll was 
Somerled, and of that of Galloway was Fergus. The former 

-^ Chroii. Pict.i and Scots, p. 170. 

-' See translation of Book 0/ Clan ran a hi in the Appendi.x, No. i. 


bears certainly a Norwegian name, but the names of father 
and grandfather have been preserved. He was son of Gille- 
bride, son of Gille-adomnan, and these names are of too 
purely a Gaelic form to indicate anything but a Gaelic 
descent, and they are said in the Book of Clanranald to have 
taken refuge from the Norwegians in Ireland, and to have 
had a hereditary right to the mainland territories possessed 
by the latter. The name of the father of Fergus of Galloway 
has not been preserved, but his own name is a purely Gaelic 
form, and his personal qualities probably raised him to the 
leadership of the Gaelic population. Macvurich describes 
Gillebride, the father of Somerled, as being present at a con- 
ference held by the Macmahons and Maguires in Fermanagh, 
and obtaining help from them to regain his inheritance in 
Scotland. He went over to Scotland with his son Somerled 
and a band of followers, and when in the mountains and 
woods of Ardgour and Morvern, they were surprised by a 
large force of Norwegians, who were, however, eventually 
defeated by Somerled and his party ; and, adds Macvurich, 
' he did not halt in the pursuit until he drove them northward 
across the river Shell, and he did not cease from that work 
until he cleared the western side of Alban from such of the 
Norwegians as had acquired the dominion of the islands, with 
the exception of the island called Innsigall, and he gained 
victory over his enemies in every field of battle.' ^^ We have 
no record of what took place in Galloway, except that the 
result appears to have been the same, for we find the people 
of Galloway joining the army of King David at the Battle of 
the Standard under their Celtic leaders, and Fergus fully 
established in his reign as Lord of Galloway. The Nor- 
wegians, however, were not allowed even to retain quiet 
possession of the Isles, and Somerled, who now appears as 
Eegulus of Argyll, succeeded in eventually wresting the 

=8 lb. 

VOL. in. c 


Southern Isles from them. Macvurich tells us that after he 
had cleared the mainland of the Norwegians ' he sjoent some 
time in war, and another time in peace,' and during one of 
these intervals peace appears to have been concluded between 
the leaders of the Gaelic population and the Norwegian king 
Olave, for the latter married Afreca, daughter of Fergus, the 
Celtic lord of Galloway, by whom lie had a son, Godred, and 
gave one of his own daughters to Somerled, the Celtic Eegulus 
of Argyll, in marriage, who had by her four sons, Dubhgal, 
Eeginald, Angus, and Olave.-^ During the reign of Olave he 
is said by the Chronicle of Man to have ' lived upon such 
terms of union with all the kings of Ireland and Scotland 
that no one dared to disturb the kingdom of the Isles as long 
as he was alive ; ' but after his death the two populations came 
again into conflict, which resulted in the Gaelic population of 
Galloway maintaining their independence, and those of Argyll 
adding a large portion of the Islands to the dominions of their 
leader. Olave was slain in the island of Man by the sons of 
his brother Harold, who had formed a conspiracy against 
him in the year 1152, upon which, we are told in the 
Chronicle of Man, the conspirators divided the land among 
themselves, and a few days afterwards, having collected a 
fleet, they sailed over to Galloway, intending to conquer it 
for themselves. The Galloway men, however, formed them- 
selves in a body and assailed them with great impetuosity ; 
whereupon they speedily fled in great confusion, and either 
slew or expelled from it all the men of Galloway who were 
resident within the island.' ^^ In the following year Godred, 
the son of Olave, arrived with some ships from Norway, and 
was elected by the chiefs of the Isles as their king ; but he 
was no sooner secure in his kingdom than he became tyran- 
nical to his chief men, some of whom he dispossessed, and 
others he degraded from their dignities. One of the most 

■-■9 Chron. of Man, ad an. 1140. '■^'> lb. 


powerful of these, Thorfinn, son of Otter, went to Somerled 
and asked to have his son Dubhgal, wliose mother was King 
Olave's daughter, that he might set him on the throne of the 
Isles, and taking him through the Isles he forced the chiefs to 
acknowledge him for their sovereign, and to give hostages for 
their allegiance. Another of these chiefs called Paul fled 
privately to Godred, who seems to have been in Man, and 
told him what had taken place, when he immediately col- 
lected his followers, got his ships ready, and sailed to meet 
the enemy. Somerled, too, collected a fleet of eighty vessels, 
and a sea-battle was fought between Godred and Somerled, 
during the night of the Epiphany, with great slaughter on 
both sides, and next morning they came to a compromise, 
and divided the sovereignty of the Isles, ' so that from that 
period they have formed two distinct monarchies till the 
present time.' ^^ 

Somerled was slain, as we know, at Eenfrew in the year 
1164, and on his death his eldest son Dubhgal appears to 
have succeeded him in his mainland territories, while his pos- 
sessions in the Isles fell to his second son Eeginald with the 
Norwegian title of king. Godred died in the Isle of Man in 
the year 1187, and was succeeded by his eldest son Eeginald. 
There thus came to be two Eeginalds reigning over the Isles 
at the same time, the Norwegian Eeginald the son of Godred, 
and the Celtic Eeginald the son of Somerled. Both bore the 
title of King of the Isles, and thus they are often confounded. 
There is preserved in the Book of Fermoy a curious poem 
which throws some light on the state of the Isles at this 
time.^^ It consists mainly of a panegyric on the Norwegian 
Eeginald, but appears to allude likewise to the other Eegi- 
nald. When the Isles were divided, those which lie south of 

■"^ 76. this poem, collated with one in his 

^^ The author is indebted to W. own possession. It is printed in the 

M. Hennessey, Esq., of the Public Appendix, No. ii., along with a 

Record Office, Dublin, for a copy of translation by Mr. Hennessey. 


the Point of Ardnamurchan appear to liave fallen to the share 
of Somerled, and his son Eeginald seems to have had his chief 
seat in the island of Isla. The Isles retained by the Nor- 
wegians consisted of Skye, the Long Island, and the islands of 
Tyree and Coll. The latter island of Coll, whicli we find was 
the chief seat of the Jarls who had ruled the Isles under the 
king of Norway prior to the establishment of the Norwegian 
kingdom of the Isles, appears to have remained as the chief 
seat of the Norwegian Reginald, for he is addressed in the 
poem as king of Coll. The islands of Arran and Bute in the 
Firth of Clyde appear to have been shared between the two 
Reginalds, the Norwegian retaining Arran, which forms a 
prominent feature in the poem under the poetic name of 
Eamain Ahhlach or Eamania of the apple-trees,^^ and Bute 
passing over to the Celtic Reginald. 

It is unnecessary for our present purpose to follow the 
history of the Western Isles further. Suffice it to say that 
Argyll came under the power of the Crown in 1222, when 
Alexander the Second firmly established his authority over 
this extensive western region. In 1196 William the Lion 
had brought the great northern district of Caithness under 
subjection, and severed the southern half of it, which he 
placed under a Scotch lord, and in the same reign of Alex- 
ander the Second, the restricted earldom of Caithness passed 
into the possession of a branch of the Celtic family of the 
Earl of Angus, and he died in the island of Kerreray while 
endeavouring to wrest the Isles from Norway. In the follow- 
ing reign the whole kingdom of the Isles passed into the 
possession of the Scottish monarch, the last Norwegian king 
of Man having died in 1265, and the Isles being formally 
ceded to Alexander the Third in 1266 ; and thus the power of 

^ Ise in Manannan sin robai i n- is the place which is called Eamania 

arainn ocus as friaside adberar E- of the apple-trees. — Yelloiv Book of 

main Ablach. It was this Manan- Lecain, Atlajitis, vol. iv. p. 228. 
nan that resided in Arann, and this 


the Norwegians entirely disappeared from the mainland of 
Scotland and from the Western Isles, the islands of Orkney 
and Shetland alone remaining as a dependency of the king- 
dom of Norway. 

During the entire duration of this Norwegian kingdom 
of the Isles, we see the frequent appearance of a subordi- 
nate body termed the Princes or Chiefs of the Isles,^^ whose 
recognition of the authority of the king was necessary to 
his assumption of that position. "We see them electing a 
king and occasionally deposing a king ; and that this body 
consisted of persons partly of Norwegian and partly of 
Gaelic descent is evident, from their sometimes deferring 
to the authority of the king of Norway, and at other times 
appealing to Ireland for aid. When the Norwegian influence 
was paramount, they would accept the control of the Nor- 
wegian monarch. When the Gaelic influence predominated, 
they seem invariably to have fallen back upon the kindred 
Gael of Ireland, and come under their influence. The inferior 
population of the Isles throughout was probably Gaelic, who 
formed the actual occupiers of the soil under superior lords, 
some of Norwegian and some of native descent. 

When the partition of the kingdom of the Isles took place 
between Clave and Somerled, the Southern Isles, which thus 
passed under the rule of a native lord, would naturally attract 
to them the Gaelic population, both chiefs and people, while 
the chiefs of Norwegian descent would as naturally withdraw 
to the Northern Isles, which remained under Norwegian rule ; 
and thus the Norwegian population would become more 
restricted to these islands, while that of the Southern Isles 
would become more purely Gaelic ; accordingly we find the 
Norwegian place-names in Skye and the Long Island are more 
numerous and more thoroughly spread over the Isles than in 
the islands south of the Point of Ardnamurchan, a result we 

^' Principes Insularum. — Ghron. Mannuv. 


might also naturally expect from the Norwegian occupation 
of the former having lasted a century longer than that of the 
latter. We should also expect to find that after the partition 
of the Isles the Northern Islands would become comparatively 
deserted by the lower class of the population, the actual 
occupiers of the soil ; and the condition of these islands at 
this time may be gathered from the Chronicle of Man, where 
it tells us that the Norwegian king Eeginald ' gave his brother 
Olave the island which is called Lcodhus or Lewis, which 
though larger than any of the other isles is mountainous, 
rocky, and almost entirely inaccessible. It is of course thinly 
peopled, and the inhabitants live mostly by hunting and 
fishing. To this island Olave retired, and lived in the way 
of poverty. Seeing the island could not support him and his 
followers, he went confidentially to his brother Eeginald, who 
was at that time resident in the Islands, and thus accosted 
him : Brother, my lord and sovereign, thou art conscious that 
the kingdom of the Isles is my birthright, but as the Al- 
mighty hath appointed thee to rule over them, I neither envy 
nor begrudge thee this royal dignity. Let me now only 
entreat thee to appoint me some portion of land in the 
Islands, where I may live creditably with my people ; for 
the island of Lcodhus, which thou hast given me, is insuffi- 
cient for my maintenance.' ^^ Apparently Eeginald saw no 
way of satisfying his demand, and found an easier solution in 
making him prisoner and sending him to King William the 
Lion, who imprisoned him during the rest of his reign. 

We likewise see from the Chronicle of Man that there 
was frequent intermarriage between the two races who 
occupied the islands, and this would not only lead to the 
introduction of personal names of Norwegian form into 
families of pure Gaelic descent in the male line, but must to 
a great extent have altered the physical type of the Gaelic 

'^^ Ghrot}. Mannke, ad an. 


race in the islands ; but there is no reason to suppose that, 
after the entire defeat of the Norwegians in the reign of 
Alexander the Third, and the cession of the kingdom of the 
[sles to him, there remained in them many families of pure 
Norwegian descent, and from the population of Scotland, as 
we find it in his reign, the Norwegian element, never pro- 
bably a very permanent and essential ingredient, must now 
have entirely disappeared. 

When the ' Communitas ' or Estates of Scotland met at The Estate 

of the 

Scone on the 5th of February 1283, to regulate the succession Realm in 


to the crown, we find that the great holders of the land in 
Scotland consisted at this time, first, of thirteen of the great 
hereditary earldoms, one of which was held by a family of 
Anglic descent, and four by Norman barons who had suc- 
ceeded by inheritance in the female line to the ancient Celtic 
earls ; and, secondly, of twenty-four barons, of whom eighteen 
at least represented the Norman baronage of the kingdom, 
while the Celtic element is represented only by three families 
descended from Somerled, the great Celtic Lord of Argyll ; 3« 
and when Edward the First placed the whole of Scotland 
under four justiciaries in 1315, we find the country south of 
the Firths of Forth and Clyde still divided into the two great 
districts of Lothian and Galloway, but the lands beyond the 
Scottish Sea, that is, north of these firths, are now for the 
first time differently grouped, one division consisting of the 
country between the river of Forth and the mountains, and 
the other of the lands beyond the mountains, or that part of 
the country to which the Gaelic population was now re- 

The account given by Fordun of the distribution of the 

^^ See Act. Pari., vol. i. p. 424. ray et iilus a honur et au profits de 

"^'' Puis est treitez et acordez de nostre seignur le Roy et al aisement 

mettre quatre poire des Justices en du poeple est assentu que en Loe- 

la terre Descoce et pur ce que les neys soient deux Justices, cest 

choses soient mesnees de meillur ar- asavoir monsieur Johan del Isle 


Distinction population ill liis (lay entirely corresponds with this. He 
tioii into says — ' The manners and customs of the Scots vary with the 

Teutonic ... 

Lowianders diversity of their speech, for two languases are spoken 

and Gaelic "^ ^ . *= " ^ 

Higii- amongst them, the Scottish and the Teutonic, the latter of 

landers. i • i • i i 

winch IS the language of those who occupy the seaboard and 
plains, while the race of Scottish speech inhabits the high- 
lands and outlying islands. The people of the coast are of 
domestic and civilised habits, trusty, patient, and urbane, 
decent in their attire, affable and peaceful, devout in divine 
worship, yet always prone to resist a wrong at the hands of 
their enemies. The highlanders and people of the islands, 
on the other hand, are a savage and untamed nation, rude 
and independent, given to rapine, ease-loving, of a docile and 
warm disposition, comely in person but unsightly in dress, 
hostile to the English people and language, and, owing to 
diversity of speech, even to their own nation, and exceedingly 
cruel. They are, however, faithful and obedient to their king 
and country, and easily made to submit to law if properly 
governed.' ^^ 

This description is no doubt to some extent coloured by 
the predilections of one who himself belonged to the low- 
country population, but it is not greatly unlike the prejudiced 
view taken of the characteristics of the Celtic population 
by late historians, and the struggle between the prejudices 
of the old historian against the Highland population and 
his reluctant admission of their better qualities is apparent 

We thus find a Gaelic-speaking people in the Highlands 

et monsieur Adam de Gurdon. En et monsieur William Inge. Et pur 

Ga[lo]way monsieur Roger de les terres dela les Montz Mon- 

Kirkpatrick et monsieur Wautier sieur Reynaud le Chien et Monsieur 

de Burghdone. Et pur les terres Johan de V^aux du Counte de Nor- 

DELA LA MER Descoce, cest asavoir thumber. — Act. Pari. Scot., vol. i. 


MoNTZ monsieur Robert de Keth ^* Fordun's Chron., vol. ii. p. 38. 


and a Teutonic-speaking people in the Lowlands. The lan- 
guage of the former is at an earlier period termed Albanic, 
and afterwards Scotch, the language of the latter is by 
the native writers prior to the sixteenth century usually 
termed Inglis ; but in the sixteenth the progress of a litera- 
ture in the latter tongue led to those who used it calling it 
Scotch, while they applied to the Celtic dialect, formerly 
called Scotch, the epithet of Irish corrupted into Erse. The 
Celtic part of the population has never given any other name 
to their language than Gaelic, and term the language of the 
Lowlanders Bextrla Sassannach, or the Saxon tongue. 

It is the social history and position of this portion of the 
population with which we have now to do. 



[book III. 



oiddivi- During the Celtic period of her history we find Scotland 

Scotia into exhibiting a distribution of her population in separate dis- 

provmces. ^j,jg(.g^ which is very analogous to what existed in Ireland at 

the same period. The latter country appears from a very 

early period to have been divided into five provinces, and 

these provinces of Udlah or Ulster, Laighean or Leinster, 

Mumhan or Munster, and Connacht or Connaught, with 

Midhe or Meath, were ruled by provincial kings under the 

Ardri, or supreme king of Ireland, who had his royal seat 

at Teamhar or Tara in Meath. 

Seven pro- In the Same way the earliest account we possess of the 

V1I1C6S in 

the eighth provincial distribution of the population of Scotland tells us 
cen iiry. ^^^^^ Transmarine Scotland,^ or the country north of the 
Mrths of Forth and Clyde, was anciently divided by seven 
brothers into seven provinces, and that the principal of 
these was Enegus with Moernc, so called from Enegus, the 
firstborn of the brothers. This name of Encgus or Angus, 
now represented by the county of Forfar, is no doubt the 
same with the ancient Celtic personal name of Angus ; and 
Moeryie, now called Mearns, or the county of Kincardine, 
is a corruption of the old Gaelic name Maghghergliin, that 
is, the plain of Gergin, and is alluded to under that name 

' Bede tells lis (B. i. c. 12) that remote part of Britain beyond the 

the Picts and Scots were termed two firths. The word Transmarine 

transmarine nations, not because Scotland is adopted as a convenient 

they came from beyond Britain, term for Scotland beyond the Firths 

but because they belonged to that of Forth and Clyde. 


iu one of the old Lives of St. Patrick.- The second pro- 
vince was Adtheodle and Goiierin, or Atholl and Gowiy. 
The old form of this name of Adtheodle was Athfodla, 
in which form it appears in the Annals of Tighernac, 
and Gouerin was probably Gcdjhriii, a name analogous to 
the old name of the district of Ossory in Leinster, which 
is called Gabhran, pronounced Gowran.^ The third was 
Sradecr7i and 3fcneted, or Stratherne and Menteath, and 
there seems no doubt that the former is the district wliich 
appears so frequently in the Irish Annals under the name of 
Fortren.* The fourth was Fif with Fothreve. The old form of 
the former name was Fihh. The latter name has entirely disap- 
peared, but was preserved in the deanery of Fothri, in the 
diocese of St. Andrews. The two together embraced the entire 
peninsula between the Firths of Forth and Tay, and the line 
of division between Fihh on the east and Fothreve on the 
west extended from the eastern boundary of the county of 
Fife on the Tay to the mouth of the river Leven on the Forth. 
The fifth province consisted of Mar and Buchan, which still 
bear these names and form the modern county of Aberdeen. 
The sixth was Muref and Eos. The old form of the foiiner 
name was 3Ioreb, and was applied to a large territory extend- 
ing along the southern shore of the Moray Firth from the river 
Spey, and across the entire country to the Western Sea. It 
was anciently separated from Eos by the river of Beauly, the 
passage across which was by a ford termed the Stockford,-'' 
and the name, which signifies in old Gaelic a promontory, was 
very applicable to the peninsula stretching into the Moray 
Firth between the Firths of Cromarty and Dornoch. The 

- Defunctus est Palladius in iu Sraith-herne or Stratherne, the 

Campo Girgin, in loco qui dicitur Irish Annals narrate the same event 

Forddun. — Colgan, 2V. "J'h. p. 13. as a slaughter hy the men of Fort- 

•i D 7 ^D- 7. T- 1 ir> ren. — Chron. Plots a7id Scot'<, -pp. 9 

■* Book of UKjlits, pp. 1/ and 49. , r.^ , 

and 6\yl. 

■* When the Pictish Chronicle tells ^ Aci-oss the Stockfurde into Ros. 

us that the Norwegians were cut off — Wyntoun. 



[book III. 

Seven pro- 
vinces in 
the tenth 

seventh province was Cathanesia, within and beyond the 
mountains, for the mountain called Mound divides Cathanesia 
into two parts. Tliis is the range now called the Ord of 
Caithness. The old form of the name is Caith, from which 
the Norwegians formed the name Katanes, compounded of 
that syllable with tlie Norwegian word nes, signifying a pro- 
montory, and applied it to that part of the province which 
lay to the north of the mountains, while they termed the 
southern hdXiSndrland, from which comes the modern name of 
Sutherland. Each province thus consisted of two districts, 
forming in all fourteen, and the old description proceeds 
to tell us that these seven brothers who thus divided the 
country might be considered as seven kings who had under 
them seven inferior kings, making fourteen in all, and that 
the seven kings divided the kingdom of Alban into seven 
kingdoms, in which each reigned in his own time.** 

As the western region, which formed the Scottish 
kingdom of Dalriada, is here omitted, while it includes the 
district of Caithness, which soon after the ninth century 
passed into the possession of the Norwegian Earls of Orkney, 
it is obvious that this description applies in the main to the 
territory of the Pictish kingdom prior to the accession of the 
Scottish dynasty which united it with Dalriada ; and we find 
mention during this time of the petty kings of Athfodla or 
Atholl, and of Fortren or Stratherne,'^ while during the last 
century of the independent existence of the Pictish mon- 
archy, the Ardri, or supreme king, had his principal seat 
at Scone in the district of Gowry. 

The old descriptions then give us another legendary ver- 
sion of these seven provinces, which the author says were 
described to him by Andrew, bishop of Caithness, a Scotsman 

^ Chron. Picts and Scot. ^, p. 136. 739 Tolarcan mac Drostan rex 

Athfltotla a bathaclh la h'Anfjiin 
' 693 Briiidhe mac Bile Eex Fort- (drowned by Angus). — Ti<jh. lb. 
rend moritur. pp. 75, 76. 


by birth, and a monk of Dunfernilyn, who flourished at the 
time it was compiled, viz., in the first year of the reign of 
William the Lion ; and if the first account applies to the 
Pictish kingdom prior to the ninth century, it is equally clear 
that this latter account must be referred to the kingdom of 
Alban or Scotia which succeeded it, for it omits altogether 
the province of Cathanesia, which had now passed into the 
possession of the Norwegians, and substitutes for it a province 
termed Argathelia, which must have included within its 
bounds the territory which had formed the ancient Scottish 
kingdom of Dalriada. 

The bishop describes the provinces more by their natural 
boundaries than by the two large districts included in each. 
According to his account, the first kingdom or province ex- 
tended from that great water, termed in Scotch Frock, that 
is, Forth, in British or Welsh Wericl, in Eoman (by which he 
evidently means Anglic) Scottewatre, or the Scottish Water, 
which divides the kingdoms of Scotland and England, and 
flows past the town of Strivelin or Stirling, as far as that other 
great river which is called Tae, or the Tay. This province 
corresponds in extent with the third province of the first list, 
which includes Stratherne and Menteath. His second pro- 
vince extends to Hilcf, as the sea encircles it till it reaches 
a mountain on the north plain of Strivelin or Stirling, which 
is called Atlirin, by which Athrie in the gorge of the Ochils 
can alone be meant. The district of Gowry is situated be- 
tween the river Tay and the Isla, if that river be meant by 
the Hilef, but its eastern boundary is the small stream called 
the Liff, which is believed to have been formerly the channel 
through which the Isla reached the sea instead of flowing 
into the Tay, and that part of this province which is encircled 
by the sea points plainly to the great peninsula between the 
Firths of Tay and Forth. This province, therefore, does not 
entirely correspond with any of the provinces in the first list, 


but is fonned of its Ibnrtli province of Fife and Fothreve, with 
tlie addition of Gowiy. The bishop's third province extends 
from Hilef to the Dee, and corresponds with the first province 
in the first list, containing the district of Angus and Mearns. 
His fourth province extends from the Dee to that great and 
wonderful river termed the Spe or Spey, the greatest and best 
of all Scotia. This province, tlierefore, corresponds with the 
iifth province in the first list containing Mar and Buclian. 
The fifth province extended from the Spey to the mountain 
Bruinalhan or Breadalbane, and corresponds witli tliat part 
of the second province of the first list termed Adtheodlc or 
Atholl. The sixth province is Muref and Eos, which is the 
same with the sixth province in the first list ; and the seventh 
is Arregaithcl. The changes thus produced upon the provin- 
cial distribution of the population by the formation of the 
kingdom of Alban or Scotia in the ninth century were, first, 
that in place of the province of Fife and Fothreve, we now 
find a larger province, including Gowry, with Scone, the royal 
seat of the Ardri, or supreme king ; and here, probably, the 
chief settlements of the Scots had been made, and the chief 
power and influence of the kings of Scottish race were formed. 
It lay between the provinces of Stratherne and Menteath or 
Fortren on the south-west, and of Angus and Mearns or Magh- 
gherghinn on the north-east, where, during the period of this 
dynasty, the men of Fortren on the one hand and the men of 
Mearns on the other appear as a separate people, and probably 
represented those remains of the older population which still 
preserved a separate existence. 

The separation of Atholl from Gowry, and the fact that 
the first five provinces are described by their natural 
boundaries, while the sixth retains its older designation of 
Muref and Eos, rather points to the great mountain barrier 
which separates the Highlands from the Lowlands now as- 
suming greater significance in the tribal distribution, the 


population within it being less affected by the change of 
dynasty and retaining more of their older constitution. 
Thus we find at this period the older title of Ri or king still 
appearing in the province of Moray only.^ 

The great change, however, in this list is the disappear- 
ance of Cathanesia or Caithness and Sutherland from the 
provinces, and the substitution of Arregaithel for it. The 
former had become in the tenth century a possession of the 
Norwegian Jarls of Orkney, and the separate petty king- 
dom of Dalriada had ceased to exist. The name of Arre- 
gaithel, however, must not be held as synonymous with that 
of Dalriada, but appears to have been applied to a much 
larger district than that which formed that small kingdom. 
In a former part of the description, the author terms it the 
principal or largest part of the country on its west side, over 
against the Irish Sea, and talks of the mountains which 
separate it from Scotia ; and we can see from the references 
to it in one of the statutes of William the Lion, in the first 
year of whose reign this description was written, that it com- 
prised, in fact, the entire western seaboard of Scotland, and 
included not only the territory which had formed the kingdom 
of Dalriada, but also the western districts of the province of 
Moray and Eoss. In this statute a distinction is drawn be- 
tween the country situated between the Forth, the river Spey, 
and Drumalban, and the districts beyond these limits, which 
consist of Moravia or Moray, Eos, Katanes or Caithness, 
Ergadia, and Kintyre. Ergadia here is merely the Latin 
form of Arregaithel, and Kintyre had been separated from it 
when the Western Isles were ceded in the end of the eleventh 
century to Magnus, king of Norway, who, by a stratagem, 
included it in the Norwegian kingdom of the Isles. We find, 
however, in the same statute ' Ergadia which belongs to Scotia' 

^ 1020 Findlaec mac Ruaidri Mormaer Moreb. — Tlgh. Findlaec mac 
Ruadri Ri A\ha,n.— An. Ult. 


or the southern part of it, distinguished from ' Ei'gadia which 
belongs to Moravia,' or that part which formed the western 
districts of Moray ; and in a charter by King Eobert the Bruce 
reviving tlie oki earldom of Moravia, it is said to extend to 
the boundary of ' northern Ergadia, which belongs to the Earl 
of Eoss.' » 

The author of the description, who is usually supposed to 
have been Giraldus Cambrensis, but whose etymologies show 
him to have been evidently a Welshman and acquainted with 
the Welsh language, gives us four interpretations of the name 
Arregaithel. He says it is so called as ' the margin of the 
Scots or Irish/ for all the Irish and Scots are generally called 
Gattheli, from their original leader Gaithelglas ; or because the 
Scotti Picti first peopled it after their return from Ireland ;i^ 
or because the Irish occupied these parts after the Picts ; or, 
what is more certain, because that part of the country of 
Scotia is more closely connected with the country of Ireland. 

In the Irish Annals the form of the name is Airergaidhd, 

•' Et si ille qui calumpiiiatus est de gadia que pertmet ad Moraviam nee 

catallo fiirato vel rapto vocat waren- ilium habere poterit tunc veniat ad 

turn suum aliquem liomiuem nianen- vicecomitem de luvirnisse, etc. . . 

tern inter Spey et Forth vel inter Item si calumpniatus vocaverit 

Drumalban et Forth habeat ab illo warentuni aliquem in Ergadia que 

die quo calumpniatus fuerit xv. dies jjert'met ad Scotiam tunc veniat ad 

adproducendumwarentum siiumqui Comitem Atholie vel ad Abbatem 

infra dictas di visas maneat ad locum de Clendrochard, etc. — Act. Pari. 

sicut Rex David constituit in comi- vol. i. p. 372. 

tatu ubi calumpnia tus fuerit. Et si Dominus Rex pro pace et stabili- 

quis ultra illas divisas velut in Mora- tate regni sui observanda statuit et 

via vel in Ros vel in Katenes vel in ordinavit quod de terris subscriptis 

Ergadia vel in Kenty re vocaveritwa- fient videlicet De terra Comitis de 

rentes habeat omnes warentos illos Ros in Nort Argail. — lb. ad an. 

quos habere debuit ab ultimo die 1292, vol. i. p. 447. 

quindecem dierum predictorum in i" The term Scotti Picti is here 

unam mensem ad locum ubi ipse qui evidently a rendering of the name of 

calumpniatus est de catallo furato Gwyddyl FJichti, by which the Picts 

vel rapto cum catallo adductus erit. were known to the Welsh, and the 

Et si calumpniatus venerit pro war- allusion to their return from Ireland 

ento suo qui maneat vel in Moravia refers to the tradition of their settle- 

vel in Ros vel in Katenes vel in Er- ment as given by Bede. 


Airer signifying a district.^^ The Scotch form is Earrgaoi- 
dheal from Earr, a limit or boundary, and this approaches 
most nearly to the form of the name in the old description, 
with its etymology of margin or limit of the Gael. The 
oldest name is that probably in the Albanic Duan, where it 
is termed Oirir Alban, or the coast lands of Alban, from 
Oirtliir, a coast or border; and we find the name Oirir 
applied to it in the Book of Clanranald, which distinguishes 
the Oirir a tuaih, or northern Oirir, and the OiHr a deas, or 
the southern Oirir, from each other. The name given to this 
district by the Norwegians was Eali or Dalir, the Dales, 
and Somerled, the Eegulus of Arregaithel, and his family, 
are termed in the Orkney inga Saga the Dalveria Aett, or 
family of the Dales.^- 

Such being the territorial divisions of Scotland at this Districts 
period, we find, in place of each province being under the rule kings and 
of a Bi or king, with a subordinate division under a sub-king by Mor^ ^ 
that, with the exception of Arregaithel or Argyll, the rulers of "^^^^''• 
the whole of these districts now bear the name of Mormaer or 
great Maer or Steward, while the Mormaer of Moreb or Moray 
appears occasionally under the title of lii or king. These 
Mormaers held a position in the scale of power and dignity 
inferior only to the Ardri or supreme king. Thus, in narrating 
the great battle fought in 918 between tlie Danes and the 
people of Alban, in the reign of Constantin, son of Aedh, king 
of Alban, the Irish Annals tell us that neither their kino: nor 
any of their Mormaers fell by him ;^^ and the Pictish Chronicle 
mentions in the same reign the death of Dubucan, son of 
Indrechtaig, Mormaer ^ngusa, or of Angus.^* In 965 
Dubdon Satrapas Athochlach, that is, Governor of Athole, by 
which title the Mormaer is probably meant, fell in battle, 
according to the Pictish Chronicle. The same chronicle 

" Reeves's Adamnan, p. 397. " Chron. Pids and Scots, p. 363. 

^- Orkneyinga Saga, p. 181. i* 76. p. 9. 



records in the reign of Cullen, who died in 970, the death 
of jNIaelbrigdi, son of Dubucan the Mormaer of Angus ; and 
in 976 Tigliernac tells us that three Mormaers of Alban, 
whose names he gives us as Cellach son of Findgaine, Cellach 
son of Baredha, and Duncan son of Morgaind, took part 
in a foray by one of the petty kings of Ireland against 

The reign of Malcolm the Second, who ascended the throne 
in 1004, and whose thirty years' rule over Alban was distin- 
guished by the acquisition of the cismarine territories south 
of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, throws still further light 
upon the position of these provincial rulers. In the early 
part of his reign the great conflict took place between the 
Danes of Dublin and the native Irish under their great king 
Brian Boroimhe, which was to determine whether the Galls 
or foreign hordes of Scandinavia or the native Gaedheal 
were to retain possession of Ireland ; a conflict terminated 
in favour of the Gaedheal when the battle of Clontarf was 
won in the year 1014 by Brian, the Ardri, or supreme king 
of Ireland, though, like some other victorious generals, he 
lost his own life in the struggle. In this great conflict we 
find the people of the provinces taking part on both sides ; 
those in the possession of the Norwegians siding with the 
Danes, and those under native rule taking part with King 
Brian. To the assistance of the Danes came Sigurd, Nor- 
wegian Earl of Orkney, with the host of the Orkneys and 
of the Norwegian Islands, the Galls or Norwegians of Caith- 
ness and Mann. Skye, Lewis, Kintyre, and Oirergaidlul 
or Argyll, are especially mentioned as being on the Danish 
side. On the other hand, ten Mormaers followed Brian with 
foreign auxiliaries, who probably represented the districts 
in Alban under native rule, and the leading man among 
them appears to have been Donald, son of Eimiu, son 
^5 Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 77. 


of Caiiinech, Mormaer of Mar, who fell in the battle of 

In this reign the Mormaers of Moreb or Aloray come very 
prominently forward, and show us the title hereditarily borne 
by a very powerful family, which eventually placed two of 
its members on the throne. The first who appears is Find- 
laec the son of Euadri, Mormaer Moreb, whose death is 
recorded at 1020, when he was slain by the sons of his 
brother Maelbrigdi. This Findlaec is obviously the Finnleikr 
Jarl who is mentioned in one of the Norse Satras as defendins; 
his district in Scotland against Sigurd the Norwegian Jarl of 
Orkney, who eventually conquered Myrhaevi of Moray and 
Eoss.17 In 1029 the death of Malcolm, son of Maelbrigdi, 
son of Euadri, is recorded, when he bears the title of Ei or 
king. He is obviously the son of that Maelbrigdi, the brother 
of Findlaec; and in 1032 Gillacomgan, son of Maelbrigdi, 
Mormaer of Moreb, was burnt with fifty of his men. The son 
of Findlaec was Macbeth, who afterwards usurped the throne 
of Scotland, and the son of Gillacomgan was Lulach, who suc- 
ceeded him for the short space of three months.^^ 

In the same reign we find also the petty kings of Arrc- petty kings 
gaitJid or Argyll and Gallgaithel or Galloway making their and Gaiio- 
first appearance. In the year 1031, when Cnut, the Danish '^^^^'• 
king of England, invaded Scotland, he is said to have received 
the submission of Malcolm, king of the Scots, and of two 
other kings, Maelbaethe and lehmarc. These kings appear 
to have represented the districts beyond the rivers Spey 
and Drumalban, which at this time formed the boundary of 
Scotland proper on the north-west and west ; for Maelbaethe 
can be no other than the celebrated Macbeth, who was then 
Mormaer of Moreb or Moray, and lehmarc may be identified 

'" See vol. i. p. .387, note 5. War of the Gaedhil ivith the Gaill, p. 153. 
^" Olaf Tryggvesson's Saga. Collect, de reb. Alb., p. 333. 
'8 Chron. Picts and Scot% 77, 78, and 367. 


with Iniergi, who appears in the old Irish Genealogies as 

ancestor of Souierled the petty king of Argyll^^ The Irish 

Annals record in the same year in which king Malcolm died, 

the death also of Suibne, son of Kenneth, Hi or king of Gall- 

gaidel. This name, which appears to have been applied in the 

Irish Annals as a general name of the Gaedhel or Gael of the 

Western Isles and of the districts lying along the coast, who 

became subject to and adopted the manners of the Norwegian 

pirates or Galls, was, as a territorial name, used in a more 

restricted sense, and appropriated to the district of Galloway, 

a name which in its Latin form of Galwethia is derived from 

the Welsh equivalent of Galwyddel. The Norwegians knew 

it by the name of Gaddgeddla, a district said in the Orkney- 

inga Saga to be ' at the place where Scotland and England 


Th^^rfinc ^^^ ^^^® death of Malcolm the Second in the year 1034 

the dynasty of Scottish kings, which had been established on 

the Pictish throne nearly three centuries previously, came to 

an end. There appears to have been no male descendant left 

who could claim the crown, and the succession opened to his 

grandson by his eldest daughter. So far as the districts south 

of the Firths of Forth and Clyde were concerned, his claim 

was not opposed to the law of succession which previously 

prevailed there, and though inconsistent with the law of 

tanistry which regulated the succession to the crown among 

the Scots, it had been so far modified that the right of the 

heir-female to succeed in default of heirs-male appears to 

have been recognised in such an emergency, but the change 

^^ Saxon Chron. ad an. 1031, See places the locality on the southern 

also vol. i. p. .397, note 22. frontierof Scotland. ThatGallgaed- 

-* Anderson's Orhieyin<ja Saga, p. hel is geographically Galloway ap- 

28, note. The author has no doubt pears from this, that the deaths of 

that Munch's conjecture is correct. Roland and Allan, Lords of Gallo- 

The expression ' where Scotland way, which took place in 1199 and 

and England meet' must not be too 1234, are recorded in the Irish An- 

strictly construed, but it evidently nals under the title of i^i(?a%aed/te^. 


was too recent to have acquired a firm and permanent place 
in the law of the country ; and here the right of Duncan, the 
son of the eldest daughter, was contested by Thorfinn, the 
most powerful of the Norwegian Jarls of Orkney, whose 
mother was likewise a daughter of Malcolm ii.; and a war of 
succession followed, which was terminated by the death of 
King Duncan in 1040. According to a contemporary writer, 
he was slain by the commander of his own army, Macbethad, 
son of Findlaech, who succeeded him.^i This was Macbeth, 
the Ei or Mormaer of Moray, who appears to have treacher- 
ously joined the Norwegian Jarl and slain his king, in hopes 
of obtaining, with the assistance of the former, the Scottish 

We are told by the Orkneyinga Saga that Thorfinn then 
followed the routed army, and subjected the land to himself 
as far south as Fifi or Fife ; that he drove those who resisted 
him to the deserts and the woods, and subdued the country 
wherever he went ; and that till the day of his death he pos- 
sessed nine jarldoms in Scotland and the whole of the 
Sudreys or Western Isles.^^ These jarldoms were no doubt 
the districts ruled by the native Mormaers, and, if his con- 
quest embraced merely the low country as far south as 
Fife, the districts which he had not subjected consisted 
merely of the province composed of Gowry, Fife, and Foth- 
reve, the province of Athol, and that consisting of Stratherne 
and Menteath. Over these, within which Scone, the capital 
of the kingdom, was situated, Macbeth appears to have ruled 
as king, while the districts of Lothian and Cumbria recog- 
nised the son of Duncan as their legitimate monarch, with 
the exception of the Gaelic territory of Galloway, which was 
under Norwegian rule. 

-1 1040 Donnchad rex Scotise in in regnum. — (Marianus Scotus.) 
aiitumno occiditur a duce suo Mac- Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 65. 
bethad mac Finnlaech, cui succesit " rth. yl^6., pp. 34.5,346. 



[book III. 

termed by 
ans Jarls. 

In 1054, Malcolm, the eldest son of Duncan, who is 
termed by the historians son of the king of the Cumbrians, 
with the assistance of Siward, eari of Northumbria, drove 
Macbeth from his kingdom and regained possession of its 
capital, Scone; and on the death of Tliornfinn in 1057 Macbeth 
was driven north and slain within no great distance from 
the frontier of his native province of Moray, and Malcolm's 
rule was extended over the wliole kingdom as its legitimate 
monarch. We are told in the Orkneyinga Saga that Thorfinn 
'was much lamented in his own land, but in those lands 
which he had subjected to himself by conquest the natives 
were no longer content under his government ; consequently 
many rilcis which the earl had subjected fell off, and their 
inhabitants sought the protection of those native chiefs who 
were territorially born to rule over them.'^^ These inkis 
were no doubt the districts subdued by Thorfinn, which now 
passed again under the rule of their native Mormaers, and it 
is rather remarkable that, with the exception of the districts 
of Stratherne and Menteath, when we can trace the position 
of the remaining districts, consisting of Athol, Gowry, Fife, 
and Fothreve, we find them in the possession of the Crown, 
and ruled over by members of the royal family.-^ 

By the Norwegians these Mormaers seem to have been 
viewed as holding the same position as the Norwegian Jarls, 
and this name is invariably given to them in the Sagas. 

=3 Col. de Feb. Alb., p. 3-46. 

-■* Bower says of Alexander i. — 
' Quod patruus suus comes de Gowry 
dedit sibi ad douum, ut moris est in 
baptismo, terras de Lyff et Inver- 
gowry ' [Scotichron. B. v. chap, 
xxxvi. ), wliich shows that during 
the life of Malcolm iii. one of his 
brothers possessed Gowry. Tlien 
we find that Madach, who ruled 
over Atholl as earl in the reign of 

Alexander i. and David i. , was the 
son of Melmare, brother of Malcolm 
III., and his son Edelradus is desig- 
nated in a charter of Admore in 
Kinross-shire ' Abbas de Dunkel- 
den et insuper comes de Fife ' 
[Chart. St. Andreivs, p. 115), thus 
uniting the possession of the abbacy 
of Dunkeld, the patrimony of this 
royal family, with the earldom of 


Like them, they were viewed as the hereditary rulers of the 
territory with which they were connected, and as protecting 
the rights of the Crown within its bounds. That the office, 
whatever it was, was held hereditarily by the same family we 
see in the notices of two of these families preserved in the 
Pictish Chronicle and in the Irish Annals. In the one we find 
Dubucan, son of Indrechtaig, Mormaer of Angus, succeeded 
by his son Maelbrigdi ; and in the other we see the family of 
Euadri filling the office of Mormaer of Moray, and the suc- 
cession apparently following the Irish law of tanistry, and 
alternating between the descendants of his two sons Mael- 
brigdi and Findlaec ; and when this family was finally 
driven from the throne in the person of Lulach, the grandson 
of the former, we find his son Maelsnectai appearing as Ri 
Muireh or king of Moray, from whom it passed through his 
sister to ^ngus, termed in the Annals ' son of the daughter 
of Lulaig.' 2^ 

A more complete revelation, however, is made to us with Mormaers 

.of Buchau 

regard to the Mormaers of another district, that of Buchan, m from the 
the Book of Deer, which contains the usual memoranda of the Deer. 
old grants made to that monastery while still retaining its 
character as an old Celtic foundation. Here the names of 
seven of the old Mormaers during the five centuries and a 
half which elapsed between the foundation of the Celtic 
monastery in the time of Columcille and the reign of David 
the First are given. We are told that Bede Cridhncch, 
or the Pict, Mormaer of Buchan, gave the cathair or city 
Abhordohoir, now Aberdour, on the south shore of the 
Moray Firth, to Columcille and Drostan, and afterwards 
certain lands called also a cathair or city, to which Colum- 
cille gave the name of Dear. He seems to have been 
followed by Comgall, son of Aeda, who made a grant 
to Columcille and Drostan. After him we have Matan 

^5 Chron. Picts and Scots, pp. 370, 372. 


son of Ceavill, Domhnall son of Giric, and Domnall 
son of Euadri, but there is nothing to show what the 
connection of these Mormaers with each other was or 
wlien they lived, but the dignity then passes to a family 
called Mac Dobharcon.^^ Two brothers, Domhnall son of 
Mac Dobhavcon, and Cainneach son of Mac Dobharcon, 
follow each other as Mormaers, and the latter is succeeded 
by his son Gartnait, who, with his wife Ete, daughter of 
Gillemichel, makes a grant in the eighth year of King 
David, that is, in 1132. 

The succession among these latter Mormaers seems to 
follow the same rule of tanistic succession which we have 
seen among the Mormaers of Moray. 
Toisechs of The same valuable record, however, makes a further reve- 
lation regarding the organisation of those districts ruled over 
by the Mormaers. It shows us that the next rank under the 
Mormaers of Buchan was held by persons termed Toisechs, 
who possessed a similar relation in a subordinate capacity to 
the land and the people. Thus we find that Bede the Pict 
grants Abbordoboir free from the claim of Mormaer and of 
Toisech, and in the grants of land by the subsequent Mor- 
maers there is usually associated with them the Toisech as 
having an interest in the subject of the grant. Among these 
Toisechs a family descended from Morcunn or Morgan appears 
very prominent. Thus Comgall, son of Aeda, grants the 
land from Orti to Furerie, and Mondac, son of Morcunn, gave 
Pette mic Garnait and Acliad Toche Temni, and it is added 
that ' one was Mormaer and the other was Toisech.' ^7 Then 
Cathal, son of Morcunt, gives Achadnagleree ; and Domhnall 

-•> Dohharcu, of which Dobharcon agus ise Toisech. This has been 
is the genitive form, signifies liter- translated as if it meant that Mon- 
ally water-dog, and is the name dac was both Mormaer and Toisech, 
usually given to an otter. while Comgall is left without a 

designation, but the above is the 

-'' The words agm ine Mormaer obvious meaning. 


mac Giric, the fouvtli Mormaer named, and Maelbrigdi, son of 
Catlial the Toisech, gives Pett in Mulenn ; and finally Colban, 
Mormaer of Buchan, and Eva, daughter of Garnait (the previ- 
ous Mormaer), his wife, and Donnachae, Toisech of the clan 
Morgainn, mortmained all the foregoing offerings to God, 
Drostan, Colcumcille, and Peter, free of all burdens except 
four davachs of such burdens as come upon chief residences 
of Alban and chief churches. Among the witnesses to this 
grant are Morgunn and Gillepetair, sons of Donnachach, and 
others who are called Maithi, that is, good men or nobles of 
Buchan. Another family of Toisechs which appears is that 
descended from Batni. Thus INIatan, son of Cairill, who is 
the third-named Mormaer, gives the Mormaer's share in 
Altere, now Altrie ; and Culi, son of Batni, gives the Toisech's 
share. Then Domhnall, son of Ptuadri, the fifth-named 
Mormaer, and Malcolm, son of Culi, give Bidhen, now Biffie ; 
and here the king comes in as also possessing rights in these 
lands, for Malcolm, son of Cinaetha, or Malcolm ii., gives 
the king's share in Bidhen, Pett mic Gobroig, and the two 
davachs of Upper Ptosabard. Then Domhnall, son of Mac 
Dubhacinn, mortmains all these offerings to Drostan upon 
giving the whole of them to him, and Cathal mortmains in 
the same way his Toisech's share. They also give Eddarun, 
and Cainnech, son of Mac Dobharcon, and the same Cathal 
give Alterin of Ailvethenamone ; and then it is added 
Cainnech,Domhnall,and Cathal mortmained all these offerings 
free from Mormaer and Toisech. It is unnecessary to notice 
the other grants further than that Comgall, son of Cainnaig, 
Toisech of Clan Canan, gives certain lands free from Toisech. 
Thus in the organisation of these districts we find a gradation 
of persons possessing territorial rights within them, consisting 
of the Ardri or supreme king, the Mormaer, and the Toisech, 
and the latter of these appears as not only possessing rights 
in connection with the land, but also standing in a relation 


to the tribe or clan wliicli occupied them as their leader.^^ 
The same record discloses a similar connection between the 
Mormaer and the land in the person of two of the Mormaers 
of Moray. Thus Malcolm, the son of Euadri, who died in 
• 1029, gives the Delerc, and Malsnectai, the son of Lulach, 

the successor of Macbeth as usurper of the throne, gives 
Pettmalduib to Drostan. These lands were probably within 
the province of Moray ruled by them, and we are told by the 
Saxon Chronicle that ' in 1078 King Malcolm won the mother 
of Maelslaht or Maelsnectai and all his best men,' an expres- 
sion similar to that of the Maithi or good men of Buchan, 
which, as we have seen, included the Toisech ' and all his 
treasure and his cattle,' and he himself escaped with difficulty. 
His death as Ri Morcb, or king of Moray, is recorded, as we 
have seen, in 1080. 
Seven earls Qn the death of Eadgar, the successor of Llalcolm ill., his 

first appear . ci i j 

in reign of brother Alexander the First ruled as king over Scotland 


the First, proper, while Lothian and Cumbria or Strathclyde fell to his 
brother David. From the time when the Celtic king Malcolm 
had married the Saxon princess Margaret there had been an 
increasing Saxon influence in the government of the Celtic 
provinces ; and when his sons by that princess had been 
firmly established on the throne by foreign aid, in opposition 
to the attempt of their father's brother to maintain his right 
under the older law of succession, with the assistance of the 
Gaelic population, and found their chief support in the Anglic 
population of Lothian and the Merse, the reigns of Eadgar and 
Alexander the First must be viewed as essentially those of 
Saxon monarchs modelling their kingdom in accordance with 
Saxon institutions ; while the object of David from the first, 

8 In the above notice from the of the late Dr. John Stuart. The 

Book of Deer the reader is referred facts they disclose are given here 

to the edition of it printed for the merely, and the explanation must 

Spalding Club under the able care be reserved to a subsequent chapter. 


both while he governed the southern districts as earl and 
the whole of Scotland as king, was to introduce the feudal 
system of Norman England into Scotland, and adapt her in- 
stitutions to feudal forms. 

The charters of Eadgar relate mainly to land south of the 
Firths of Forth and Clyde, and we find that the immediate 
dependants of the Court, who formed the witnesses to these 
charters, were certainly Saxons ; and when Alexander the 
First founded the monastery of Scone after the attempt made 
upon his life by the Gaelic population of the northern pro- 
vinces, we find that the foundation charter is framed upon 
the model of the Saxon charters. Like the latter, which were 
granted with the assent of the members of the Witenagemot, 
who subscribe the charter as consenting parties with the 
designation of Episcopus and Abbas if churchmen, and of 
Comes or Dux if earls, without the addition of the diocese, 
monastery, or earldom with which they were connected ; so 
we find this charter granted with the consent of nine persons, 
two of whom have the simple designation of Episcopus, who 
are followed by seven others, six of whom have the word 
Comes or Earl after their names ; and the only one who 
is not so designated is Gospatrick, whom we know to have 
been at the time Earl of Danbar, and who probably repre- 
sented that part of Lothian attached to Alexander's king- 
dom. The other six must of course have represented the 
districts of transmarine Scotland, which properly formed 
Alexander's dominions. We thus find in his reign a body 
constituted somewhat similarly to that portion of the 
Witenagemot of the Saxon monarchs, and exercising similar 
functions.-^ The six persons, however, who bear the title of 
Comes are Beth, Mallus, Madach, Eothri, Gartnach, and 
Dufagan, and of these we can identify four. Mallus is un- 
doubtedly the Mallus Comes Stradarniie or Earl of Stratherne, 

2» Chart. Scon, p. 2. 


who took such a prominent part in tlie Battle of the Stan- 
(lard.3° Madach is that Maddach, Jarl of Atjoldum, or Earl 
of AthoU, said in the Orkneyinga Saga to be the son of 
Melkolfr or jMelmare, brother of Malcolm the Third.^^ Rothri 
appears in a charter in the Book of Deer, granted in the 
eighth year of King David, as Euadri, Mormaer of Mar; 
and Gartnach is the Gartnait, son of Cainnech, Mormaer of 
Buchan, who grants the charter. The remaining two, Beth 
and Dufagan, cannot be identified with certainty, but the re- 
semblance of the name of the latter to Dubican, who appears 
at an earlier date as Mormaer of Angus, leads to the supposi- 
tion that he may have filled that position. At all events there 
is enough to show that the six persons who appear with the 
title of Comes as representing the districts north of the 
Firths, were the same persons whom we have hitlierto found 
in connection with these districts bearing the title of Mor- 
maer; and thus the great Celtic chiefs of the country, to 
whom the Norwegians applied the Norwegian title of Jarl, 
which was a personal dignity though given in connection with 
a territory, now appear bearing the Saxon title of Comes or 
Earl, and the Celtic title of Mormaer, probably official in its 
origin, was now merged in a personal dignity.^- 

■'*' Ailred De bello apud Standar- Rothri comes assensum prebeo, ego 
dum, printed in appendix to For- Gartnach comes assensum prebeo, 
dun, Chron. , vol. i. p. 443. ego Dufagan comes assensum prebeo 
^1 Orkneifinr/a Saga, p. 86. {Chart. Sco)i, p. 2), with the follow- 
'■'- Compare the subscriptions to ing Saxon charters : — ' Ego /Ethel- 
the Scone charter, ' Ego Alexander balth (Mercensium Rex) banc dona- 
Dei Gratia Rex Scotorum propria tionem meam subscripsi. Ego Uuor 
manu mea hec confirmo . . . ego Si- Episcopus consensi et subscripsi. 
billa Dei Gratia Regina Scottorum Piot abbas. Uuilfirth comes. Sigi- 
propria manu hec confirmo, ego Gre- bed comes. Oba comes. Beorcol 
gorius episcopus, etc. , confirmo, ego comes. Heardberht frater Regis 
Cormacus episcopus, etc., confirmo, Eadberht comes, etc. Or another 
ego Beth comes similiter, ego Gospa- in 82.3—' Ego Eagbertus Rex Anglo- 
tricius Dolfini assensum prebeo, ego rum banc donationem meam, etc. , 
Mallus comes assensum prebeo, ego confirmavietsubscripsi. Ego^Ethel- 
Madach comes assensum prebeo, ego uulf Rex consensi et subscripsi. Ego 


In one of the earliest charters in King David's reign, we 
find a slight change in the position of these comites. It 
is the first of David's charters to the monastery of Dunferm- 
line, and in this charter five bishops appear who alone prefix 
to their names the word ' Ego,' and add the title of Episcopus 
simply with the word confirmed ; and then follows a list of 
names of persons who are said to be ' hnjus privilegii testes 
et assertores,' and these are headed by five earls — viz., Ed 
Comes, Constantinus Comes, Malise Comes, Eotheri Comes, 
and Madeth Comes.^^ The last three are obviously the same 
with three of the earls who subscribe the Scone charter, and 
who, we have seen, had been Mormaers of Stratherne, Mar, 
and Atholl. Constantin appears in a subsequent charter, 
where King David grants to Dunfermlin * the whole shyre of 
Kirkcaldy, which Earl Constantine held from them by force, 
in perpetual charity,' and this charter is simply witnessed by 
three bishops and three earls — viz., Madeth Comes, Malis 
Comes, Head Comes.^^ Constantin, however, appears in two 
documents in the Chartulary of St. Andrews, in which he is 
described as Earl of Eife. In the first, which is the memo- 
randum of the grant by Edelrad, son of Malcolm, king of 
Scotland, abbot of Dunkeld, and also Earl of Fife, of the 
lands of Admore, it is said to have been confirmed by his 
brothers David and Alexander ' in presentia multorum viro- 
rum fide dignorum scilicet Constantini Comitis de Fyf viri 
discretissimi.' The second is a perambulation of the bound- 
aries of Kirkness and Lochore, when the king sends his 
messengers through the province of Eyf and Fothrithi, and 

Uulfred Archiepiscopus consensi et scripsi. Ego Osmod Dux consensi 
subscripsi. Ego Wigthegn Episco- et subscripsi. Ego Dudda Dux con- 
pus consensi et subscripsi. Ego sensi et subsci'ipsi, etc. — I'algrave, 
Ealhstan Episcopus consensi et sub- Jlitse and Progress of the English 
scripsi. Ego Bearnmod Episcopus Commonwealth, vol. ii. pp. ccxix. 
consensi et subscripsi. Ego Wulf- ccxx. 

hard Dux consensi et subscripsi. •" Chart, of Dunfermlin, p. 4. 

Ego Monuede Dux consensi et sub- ^ lb. p. 16. 



[book m. 

.summons many of their people in one place — viz., Constan- 
tinem Comitem de Fyf viruni discretum et facundum cum 
satrapys et satellitibus et exercitu de Fyf et Macbeath Thay- 
netum de Falleland (Falkland), etc. The dispute is then 
referred to ' tres viros legales et idoneos,' tlie first of whom is 
' Constantinus Comes de Fyf magnus judex in Scotia.' ^^ We 
thus see that one of the principal functions of these old Mor- 
maers, who now appear as comites or earls, was judicial, and 
it is probable that the title of Magnus judex, or great judge, 
given to Constantin, is simply the Latin equivalent of the 
Celtic title of Mormaer, or great maer, and by the ' satrapes,' 
probably the same persons are meant who appear in the Book 
of Deer with the Celtic title of Toiseach. The 'Ed comes' who 
precedes Constantin in the first of King David's charters may 
possibly be the same person as the ' Head comes ' who wit- 
nesses the second, but neither can be identified.^^ 

'^5 Chart, of St. Andrews, pp. 116, 

■■^ Mr. Robertson, in his valuable 
work of Scotland under her Early 
Kings, considers that Beth in the 
Scone charter is wi-itten by a clerical 
error for Heth, tliat he is the same 
person with the Ed and Head of 
David's charters, and was Earl of 
Moray, and father of that Angus, 
Earl of Moray, defeated and slain in 
1130 (vol. i. pp. 104, 190). This 
opinion is mainly grounded on the 
fact that Wimund, when he claimed 
to be the son of Angus, called him- 
self Malcolm IMacHeth, but Beth 
appears in the same form in a sub- 
sequent charter in the Scone chartu- 
lary (p. 4), and an identification, 
which requires us to suppose that 
the name has been miswritten in two 
charters, is not admissible. More- 
over, it is not likely that an Earl of 
Moray should witness the founda- 
tion-charter of a monastery erected 

as a thank-offering for the defeat of 
the men of Moray in that year. As 
the great province of Fif consisted 
of the two old districts of Fyfe and 
Fothrithi, it is not impossible that 
there may at first have been an Earl 
connected with each, and that Beth, 
occupying here the leading place in 
which the subsequent Earls of Fife 
are invariably found, may have been 
earl along with Edelrad, and that 
the latter is the Ed who, along with 
Constantin, witnesses the earliest 
charter of King David, as there is 
a circumflex through the d of Ed, 
which implies that some letters after 
it have been omitted. This would 
account for Constantin ajjpeariug in 
the charter of Edelrad as if he were 
his contemporary. It m.ay be ob- 
served that the Admore which Edel- 
rad grants was in Fothrif, while 
Constantin appears in connection 
with Kirkcaldy in Fife, and that the 
name of the Thane of Falkland being 


During the entire reign of David tlie these earls 
appear simply with the designation of Comes without any- 
territorial addition, with two exceptions, which occur towards 
the end of his reign. In the earliest charter the earls who 
witness it, among whom is Constantin, are followed by other 
witnesses, partly officers of state, as the chancellors, partly 
Norman barons, and a few Celtic names which have no de- 
signation, and the first witness who follows the earls and pre- 
cedes the chancellor is Gillemichel Makduf. In the founda- 
tion charter of Holyrood, granted not long after, he follows 
the chancellor and the chamberlain as Gillemichel Comes, 
and in a subsequent charter to Dunfermline he again precedes 
them as Gillemichel Comes de Fif In a charter in the Book 
of Deer, which must have been granted in the last year of 
David's reign, the earl who succeeded Gillemichel appears as 
Dunchad, Comes de Fif, and along with him, for the first time, 
appears Gillebride, Comes de Angus. Gillemichel has usually 
been supposed to be the son of Constantin, but this has arisen 
solely from the preconceived notion that all the ancient Earls 
of Fife bore the name of Macduff. There is, however, no 
evidence of any connection between them, and it is obviously 
quite inconsistent with the character of their appearance as 
witnesses in the same charter. 

There is no doubt that David's object, on his accession to Policy of 
the throne, was to feudalise the whole kingdom, by importing feudalise 
feudal forms and feudal holdings into it, and to place the doms! 
leading dignitaries of the kingdom in- the position of Crown 
vassals, as well as to introduce a Norman baronage. The 
relation of those old Celtic earls or Mormaers towards the 
Crown on the one hand, had hitherto been purely official, and 
that towards the districts with which their names were con- 

Macbeath, shows that the name Earl of Moray who preceded Angus, 
Beath was also connected with Fife. and gave his name to the family of 
Head may certainly have been the MacHeth. 


nected was not a purely territorial one. It was more a 
relation towards the tribes who peopled it than towards the 
laud. David's desire, certainly, would be to place them, 
whenever opportunity offered in the position of holding the 
land they were officially connected with as an earldom of the 
Crown in chief, in the same manner as the barons held their 
baronies, and in these cases he may have inaugurated the 
policy undoubtedly followed, as we shall see, by his successors. 
Gillemichel Macduff, from his position in the earliest 
charter, must have held a high position as a follower of the 
king, and may have rendered him great services, which legend 
drew back to the usurpation of the throne of his ancestor 
Duncan by Macbeth, and led to the creation of the fictitious 
Macduff, who makes his first appearance in Fordun's Chronicle, 
and after Constantin's death Gillemichel may first have had 
the personal title of Comesor Earl bestowed uponhim,and then 
been feudally invested with the Earldom of Fife, which thus 
may have become a territorial title in his person. It certainly 
did so in that of his successor Duncan, who received from 
David a charter of the earldom, which was confirmed to his 
successors by the subsequent kings ; ^"^ and a similar feudal 
investiture of the earldom of Angus in the person of Gilli- 
bride may have added that old Celtic earldom likewise to the 
number, as from this time, when we find the older earldoms 
still conferring no territorial designation on their earls, Gilli- 
bride invariably appears along with them as Earl of Angus. 
During the earlier part of the reign of Malcolm iv. no 
change appears to have been made in the position of the 
existing earldoms. His first charter after his accession ap- 
pears to have been his comfirmation of the grants to the 

^'' See charter by Alexander the tenuit. . . Sicut carta regis David 

Second to Earl Malcohn of Fife, son de predicto comitatu facta comiti 

of Duncan, Earl of Fife, of the comi- Duncano patri ejus.' — National 

tatus de Fyfe. ' Sicut Comes Dun- MSS. vol. i. p. 28. 
canus frater suus comitatem ilium 


monastery of Dumfermline, and this charter is witnessed first 
by six bishops, then by twelve barons, most of whom were 
Normans, and other foreigners, and then by six of the earls 
(De Comitibus), who are tlius named : Gospatricius Comes, 
Ferteth Comes, Duncanus Comes, Morgund Comes, Melcolmus 
Comes, et Comes de Engus. The five preceding earls were 
those of Dunbar, Stratherne, Fife, Mar, and Athol, the earl 
of Buchan, who would make up the number of the seven 
earls, not appearing among them. To this number a tem- 
porary addition was made by Malcolm, when, on making 
peace with Malcolm macHeth, the pretended son of Earl 
Angus of Moray, in 1157, he gave him the district of Eos 
with the title of earl ; but the inhabitants soon rose against 
him and drove him out. 

An event, however, took place soon after, which led to 
the policy inaugurated by David the First, of feudalising 
these earldoms, being resumed by Malcolm and still further 
carried out by his successor. This was the attack made 
upon the king by six of the old Celtic earls, when, under 
the leadership of Ferteth, earl of Stratherne, they besieged 
him in Perth in the year 1160. Fordun, quoting from the 
Chronicle of Melrose, says, 'Six earls— Ferchard, Earl of 
Stratherne, to wit, and five other earls — being stirred up 
against the king, not to compass any selfish end, or through 
treason, but rather to guard the common weal, sought to 
take him, and laid siege to the keep of that town (Perth). 
God so ordering it, however, their undertaking was brought 
to nought for the nonce, and after not many days had 
rolled by, he was, by the advice of the clergy, brought 
back to a good understanding with his nobles.' ^^ An 
expression in the Orkneyinga Saga would lead us to infer 
that the object of the six Celtic earls was to put up the 
young son of William Fitz Duncan, who was usually called 

^8 Fordun, Chron. (Annals, in.) vol. ii. p. 251 ; and see note, p. 430. 
VOL. in. E 


the Boy of Egremont, and as grandson of King Duncan, the 
eldest son of Malcohn in. by Ingibiorg, widow of Earl 
Thorfiun of Orkney, had a direct claim to the throne, which 
would commend itself both to the Gaelic and to the Norwe- 
gian population in preference to the descendants of the Saxon 
princess Margaret. ^^ Wyntoun gives us the following account 
of this occurrence : — 

A mayster-man called Feretawche, 
Wyth Gyllandrys Ergemawche, 
And other mayster-men thare fyve, 
Agayne the king than ras belyve ; 
For caws that the past till Twlows, 
Agayne hym thai ware all irows : 
Forthi thai set thame hym to ta 
In till Perth, or than hym sla. 
But the kyng rycht nianlyly 
Swne skalyd all that cumpany, 
And tuk and slwe.''" 

Wyntoun here associates with the five earls who followed 
Ferteth, the Earl of Stratherne, Gillandrys Ergemawche. If 
two persons are meant, Ergemawche may be a corruption of 
Egremont, and Gillandres may have represented the old 
Celtic earls of Eoss, as the clan bearing the name of Eoss are 
called in Gaelic Clan Ghillcanrias, or descendants of Gill- 
andres, and may have led the revolt which drove Malcolm 
macHeth out of the earldom. 
Creation of Eacli of the seven provinces of Scotland consisted, as we 
earidoms^.^ have sccn, of two districts, and we find a Mormaer ruling over 
each : but when they appear in the reign of Alexander the First, 
under the name of Comes or Earl, we find the number reduced 
to six ; and with the exception of the province consisting of 

^8 ' Ingibiorg, the mother of the was a good man. His son was 

earls,' married Melkolf, king of William the Noble, whom all the 

Scotland, who was called Langhals. Scots wished to take for their king. 

Their son was Dungad, king of Scot- — Collect, de Reh. Alb. 40, p. 3-46. 
land, the father of William, who * Wyntoun, C'A>wt. B. vii. c. vii. 


the two districts of Mar and Buchan, each of which is repre- 
sented by an earl, the other provinces appear with one of its 
two districts possessing an earl, and the other remaining un- 
represented. It was these six earls, no doubt, who formed 
the party who attacked the king in Perth, and one feature of 
the new policy appears to have been to increase their number 
by appointing new earls to the vacant districts, who were 
feudally invested with their earldoms, and thus introducing a 
large feudal element into the old Celtic earldoms, while those 
which retained their original character would be gradually 
feudalised as opportunity offered. Malcolm had thus restored 
one of these vacant districts when he made Malcolm mac- 
Heth Earl of Eoss ; and when that earl was driven out by the 
inhabitants, he endeavoured to connect it still more closely 
with the Crown, by giving the earldom to Florence, Count 
of Holland, in marriage with his sister Ada in 1162, but this 
grant, too, did not practically take effect."*^ Two years after 
he added another in the district of Menteath, which, along 
with Stratlierne, formed one of the old provinces of Scotland. 
' Gillechrist, Comes de Menteth,' makes his first appearance 
as witness in a charter granted by King Malcolm to the canons 
of Scone in 1 164 ; and in the same charter we have Gillebride 
Comes de Angus and Malcolm Comes appearing for the first 
time with the territorial designation of ' De Ethoel.' 

The policy thus inaugurated by David the First as entering 
into his plan for transforming the old Celtic kingdom of the 
Scots into a feudal monarchy, and to some extent carried out 
by Malcolm the Fourth, was still more vigorously prosecuted 
by his successor William the Lion ; and we find that during 

^1 Memorandum quod Comes de Willelmietpredictuscomitatuselon- 

Holand processit de sorore domini gatus fuit a predicto comite de Ho- 

Regis Willelmi ut cognitum est per land sine aliqua ratione et sine me- 

anticos regni Scotie quod totus comi- rito suo vel antecessorum suorum ut 

tatus de Ros, collatus fuit in marita- injuste sicut recognitum est. — Pal- 

gio cum predicta sorore domini Regis grave, Documents and Records, p. 20. 


his reign he converted two of the old earldoms into feudal 
holdings, that a third had passed by gift and a fourth by 
succession into the hands of Norman barons, and that he 
added four new earldoms to the number. 
Earldom of "VVe have seen that during the reign of Alexander the 

Mar. . 

First and the early part of the reign of David, Euadri or 
Kotheri, who had been Mormaer of Mar, appears witnessing 
the royal charters, with the personal title of Comes or Earl. 
He was followed, during the latter part of the reign of David 
and during that of his successor Malcolm iv., by Morgundus 
or Morgund, who also bears the personal title of Comes or Earl; 
but in the early part of the reign of William the Lion, when 
the territorial designations became more common, he is 
superseded by a certain Gilchrist, Earl of Mar, and Gilchrist, 
in his turn, makes way in 1171 for Morgund again. The 
explanation of this apparent contest for the position of earl 
is furnished us by the controversy which afterwards took 
place between the family of De Lundin, who were the king's 
hereditary Hostiarii or doorkeepers, and from that oJSice took 
the name of Doorward or Durward. It appears from this 
controversy that Morgund was alleged to be illegitimate, and 
King William had probably taken advantage of this flaw in 
his title to break the succession of the old Celtic earls by 
recognising Gilchrist, the next lawful heir, as earl. This 
Gilchrist had married Orabilis, the daughter of Ness, son of 
William, one of the foreign settlers in Eife, and his daughter 
was the mother of Thomas de Lundin, the king's Hostiary or 
Doorward, and carried the claims of the lawful lieirs into this 
family.'*'^ It is probable, however, that this illegitimacy, 

^ The principal act of Gilchrist's were illegitimate, and in 1291 the 

life was the foundation of the Priory Earl of Mar complains that when 

of Monimusk, and Thomas, the William the Lion i-estored the Earl- 

Doorward, confirms the grant by dom to Morgund, ' deficiebant tres 

his grandfather and his mother. centum librate terre.' — Ant. Ah. 

His son Alan declares, in 1257, and Banff, vol. iv. p. 151. 
that Morgund and his son Duncan 


tliough possibly well founded according to the canon law, 
was not recognised as such by the Celtic customs, and an 
arrangement seems to have been come to by which Morgund 
agreed to receive from the king the investiture of the earldom 
as a feudal holding, while the claims of the rival party were 
satisfied by a large tract of land between the rivers Dee and 
Don, which was withdrawn from the earldom and became the 
property of the Durwards. There is preserved a deed by 
King William, in which he narrates that Morgund, son of 
Gilloclier, formerly Earl of Mar, appeared before him in June 
1171 and was invested with the earldom of Mar, in which 
his father had died vest and seized, and which was now 
granted to him and his heirs whatsoever.'*^ It may perhaps 
be doubted whether this is an original deed ; but there can 
be little doubt that it contains the record of a real transaction 
by which the earldom was converted into a purely feudal 
holding, whicli, like all such holdings created at this time, 
was descendible to heirs-female. 

The policy followed by King "William, with regard to Earldoms 

of Gar- 

these earldoms, was checked for a time by the unfortunate vyach and 


result of his attempt in 1174 to recover possession of the 
nortliern provinces of England, when he was taken prisoner, 
and only recovered his liberty by surrendering the inde- 
pendence of his kingdom ; but soon after his liberation, when 
lie returned to Scotland, he appears to have created two 
new earldoms, which he bestowed upon his brother David. 
The first was the earldom of Garvyach or Garrioch in Aber- 
deenshire, formed from the districts surrounding the ancient 
fortification of Dunideer, and extending between the river 
Don and its tributary the Ury. The second was the earldom 
of Levenach or Lennox, and consisted of the northern part of 

*^ This deed has hitherto been printed was found among his papers, 

known only by its being printed by and is now in the library at Lincoln's 

Selden in his I'itles of Honour ; Inn. See Appendix No. iv. for an 

but the document from which he account of this charter. 


the old Cumbrian kingdom, which appears to have received a 
Gaelic population, and is nearly represented by the county of 
Dumbarton.-''* These districts were probably at the time iu 
the hands of the Crown. The earldom of Garvyach passed 
on David's death to his son John the Scot, after whose death 
it again reverted to the Crown, and was eventually granted as 
a lordship to the earls of Mar. The earldom of Levenach 
does not appear to have remained long in Earl David's pos- 
session, as we find it emerging in the possession of a line of 
Celtic earls, the first of whom, Aluin, must have received it 
as early as the year 1193. Earl David was invested with 
the English earldom of Huntingdon on the death of its then 
possessor, Simon de Senlis, in 1184 ; and it is probable that 
on that occasion he resigned the earldom of Lenno.K in favour 
of the head of its Gaelic population."^ 
Earldoms In 1179 William the Lion brought the people of Eoss 

Carrick.''° under more complete snbjection to the Crown, and built two 
royal castles within its bounds, but he appears to have 
retained the earldom in his own hands, as the Count of 
Holland complains that he had been deprived of it, although 
he had never been forfeited. His grievance was probably 
not a very substantial one, as it is very unlikely that he 
either had obtained or could obtain practical possession of it. 
Seven years after the king formed a second earldom out of 
the territory of the old Cumbrian kingdom, at its south- 
western extremity, where it bordered upon the Gaelic district 
of Galloway, and appears to have received a Gaelic population 
from thence. This was the district of Carrick, which he 

*» Fordun, Ghron. (Annals, xxx. ) a charter in the Liber de Melrose, 

vol. ii. p. 276. '^'ol. i. p. 22, and that his name 

« Chart, of Paisley, p. 167. The was Aluin appears from the Char- 

expressions used here imply that tulary of Glascjow, vol. i. p. 86, 

David held the earldom only for a where we find, between 1208 and 

time The first mention of another 1214, a charter by Alewinus comes 

earl of Lennox is in 1193, when Eth, de Levenax filius et heres Alewini 

son of the earl of Lemiox, witnesses comitis de Levenax. 


bestowed as an earldom upon Duncan, son of Gilbert, and 
grandson of Fergus, the Celtic Lord of Galloway. 

Ten years after this he took advantage of the slaughter of Earldom of 
the bishop of Caithness by^the Norwegian earl of Orkney and 
Caithness, to extend his power over that district likewise, and 
to reduce its earl to submission. Harald, the earl at this time, 
was not a very distant relation of the king by paternal descent, 
being the son of Madach, earl of Atholl, whose father was a 
brother of Malcolm the Third, but he inherited the earldom of 
Orkney to which Caithness at this time was attached, through 
his mother, Margaret, the daughter of a previous earl, of Nor- 
wegian descent, and he had married a daughter of Malcolm 
MacHeth, the so-called earl of Moray, and was thus associated 
with that family in their opposition to the Crown. The result 
of two separate invasions of Caithness by the royal army was, 
that Caithness, north of the great range called the Ord of 
Caithness, was eventually restored to Earl Harald, to be held 
by him on payment to the Crown of a large sum of money ; 
while the district south of that range, which has the Nor- 
wegian name of Sudrland or Sutherland, was retained by the 
king, and bestowed upon Hugo, a scion of the house of De 
Moravia, as a lordship, and eventually made an earldom in 
the person of his son William. Before the death of William 
one of the old Celtic earldoms had passed by succession into 
the hands of a foreign baron, for William Cumyn, the head of 
the Norman house of that name, became possessed of the 
earldom of Buchan by his marriage with Marjory, daughter 
of Fergus, the last of the Celtic earls. 

Alexander the Second, the successor of William, followed seven Earls 
out the same policy, but during his reign, notwithstanding reign^of 
the increase in the number of the earldoms, and the feudali- ^^g ggcond 
sation of some of the older ones, we find the seven earls of 
Scotland frequently making their appearance, apparently as a 
constitutional body whose privileges were recognised. They 


first appear as taldng an important part in the coronation of 
Alexander as king of Scotland, and then consisted of the 
earls of Fife, Stratherne, Atholl, Angus, Menteath, Buchan, 
and Lothian.-*^ AVitli the exception of Menteath, which was a 
more recent earldom, these are the same earldoms whose earls 
gave their consent to the foundation charter of Scone ; but 
Menteath comes now in place of Mar, perhaps owing to the 
controversy as to tlie rightful possessor of the latter earldom, 
and Buchan was, as we have seen,now held by a Norman baron. 
Another of these ancient earldoms, however, soon after 
terminated in the male line, and this raised a question which 
throws some light upon their character and relation to the 
law of feudal tenures. When Fergus, the last of the old 
Celtic earls of Buchan, died in the end of King William's 
reign, there seems to have been no doubt that the earldom 
devolved upon his daughter Marjory, which she carried 
to her husband, William Cumyn ; but when Henry, the last 
of the old Earls of Atholl, died, soon after the accession of 
Alexander the Second, his heirs were two sisters, Isabella 
and Forflissa, and the question at once arose whether the 
earldom was partible between them, as was the case with any 
feudal barony, or whether it devolved in its entirety upon 
the elder sister, Isabella, who had married Thomas of Gallo- 
way, brother of Alan, Lord of Galloway. This question, and 
the decision of the Curia regis or royal court, consisting of 
the tenants in chief of the Crown, are incidentally mentioned 
when the same discussion took place before Edward the First 
between three of the competitors for the crown on the death 
of the Maid of Norway. These were John Baliol, who 
claimed as grandson of Margaret, the eldest daughter of 
David, earl of Huntingdon ; Eobert de Bruce, who claimed as 
son of his second daughter Isabella ; and John de Hastings, 
as grandson of Ada, the youngest daughter. The competition 
*' Fordun, Chron. (Annals, xxix.), p. 276. 


for the crown came eventually to be between Baliol, who 
claimed as representing Earl David through his eldest 
daughter, and Bruce, who asserted that being his grandson 
he was one step nearer, and should be preferred to his great- 
grandson, notwithstanding that he was thus connected through 
the second daughter. John de Hastings, who, like Baliol, 
stood only in the relation of great-grandson, admitted the 
right of the latter to the throne, if the kingdom was main- 
tained in its entirety, but asserted that being held under the 
English Crown, it was partible like any other feudal holding, 
and that he ought to be preferred to one-third of the territory 
of the kingdom; and Robert Bruce put in a further claim, 
that in the event of his right to the whole being rejected, he 
was likewise entitled to one-third. His argument was this — 
' The land of Scotland, albeit it is called a kingdom, ought to 
be partible, by reason that the event which has now happened 
to Scotland, seeing that it is held in fee of our lord the king 
of England by homage, is no other than similar to what it 
would have been as to an earldom or a barony of the realm 
of England which had descended in such case. And if an 
earldom or barony had descended to three daughters, with 
the issue of them, each would have her purpart, seeing that 
the three daughters represent but one heir of all the heritage 
of their father ; so that no advantage ought to accrue unto 
the eldest, or unto the issue of her, except solely the name of 
the dignity, and especially of the chief messuage.'*^ The 
king of England referred this question to the eighty Scotch 
arbiters, who had been elected by the parties, who were 
asked to decide — ' first, whether the kingdom of Scotland is 
partible ; second, although it be that the kingdom is not 
partible, whether the lands acquired and the escheats are 

■*^ Willelmi Rishanger Chronica et erroneously translated Ly the editor 
J w?iaZes, Master of the Rolls Series, 'of chief of the house,' instead of 
p. 344. The words ' de chef mes ' are ' chief messuage. ' 


partible or not. The third, whether the earldoms and the 
baronies of the kingdom are partible of right ; and the fourth, 
seeing that the kingdom is not partible, in case the right to 
the kingdom falls to daughters, whether any consideration 
ought to be paid to the younger ones, by reason of the equality 
of right which descended to all, as though in acknowledg- 
ment of their right.* This discussion only bears upon our 
subject in so far as it affects the position in this respect of 
the old earldoms, and it is unnecessary to refer to the answers 
of the arbiters, except to the third and fourth questions. 
' To the third they say that an earldom in the kingdom of 
Scotland is not partible ; and this was found by judgment in 
the Court of the king of Scotland as to the earldom of Astheles, 
or Atholl ; but as to baronies, they say that they are partible. 
To the fourth they say that as to a kingdom they never saw 
the like ; but if an earldom falls to daughters in Scotland, the 
eldest takes it wholly. But if either of the other sisters has 
not been provided for, in the life of the father, it is proper 
that the eldest, who takes the inheritance, makes her a pay- 
ment and assignment. And this is of grace, not of right.'*^ 
They thus adopt the argument of Eobert the Bruce as to 
baronies but not as to earldoms. It is, however, unlikely 
that the eighty arbiters, forty of whom were named by Baliol 
and forty by Bruce, should have been unanimous in rejecting 
the claim of the latter ; and the qualification contained in 
the fourth answer has much the appearance of a compromise 
between two conflicting views, and like most compromises is 
inconsistent with the grounds upon which either must be 
based. In point of fact both views had a substance of truth 
in them. So far as the old Celtic earldoms of the kingdom 
were concerned, the arbiters pronounced a correct judgment, 
for such earldoms were rather official and personal than terri- 
torial dignities, and the territory of the earldom, which after- 

"^ Eislianger, Chronica, pp. 355, 356, 357. 


wards formed its demesne, was more of the nature of mensal 
land appropriated to the support of the dignity. The decision, 
founded on as having been given by the court of the king, 
that the earldom of Atholl was not partible, must have 
reference to that time when the last Celtic earl was repre- 
sented by two co-heirs, and it appears to have been viewed as 
being governed by Celtic and not by feudal law. Hence the 
eldest sister, Isabella, was held to have right to the whole 
earldom."*^ Isabella married Thomas de Galloway, brother of 
Alan, Lord of Galloway, by whom she had a son, Patrick ; and 
after her first husband's death, in 1232, Alan de Lundin, the 
Hostiarius or Doorward, and one of the most powerful barons 
of the time, appears as earl of Atholl, from which we may 
infer that he had married the widow, and held the title during 
her life. Patrick, the young earl, was, on his accession, miser- 
ably burnt to death at Haddington in the year 1242, and then 
we are told the earldom passed to his aunt Forflissa, who 
had married David de Hastings, a Norman baron.^*^ 

While the succession to the earldom of Atholl thus shows 
the light in which the ancient Celtic earldoms were regarded, 

*^ The decision is thus given in vynt . . . P]scoce Seneschaucie Mare- 

the arguments adduced by Baliol in schaucie Conestablerie Foresterie . e 

supportof the position that the king- .... einzne . . . al isseue 

dom was not partible. Printed by einznesce autres offices e V)aillies 

Palgrave (Doc, p. 40), unfortu- semblable qe sount de la coroune.' 

nately the document is very imper- ^^ Pro dolor ! Patricius de Athedle 

feet, but it appears to place the old filius Thomw de Galwedia et comitis 

Celtic earldom in the same category de Adthedle, juvenis egregius et 

with the offices of seneschals, mari- quantum ad humanam oppinionem 

schals, constables, and foresters : — omni curiali sapientia et facescia im- 

' Ausi la Countee de Asheles de- butus, apud Hadingtone in hospitio 
mora a Isabele la einzne . . . . puisne suo de nocte postquam se sopori de- 
n y aveit vivaunt Isabel 1 einzne soir disset, per consilium quorundam ma- 
e le isseue de li. E fet . . . . lavandit lignancium nequiter perimitur, cum 
Isabel en pleyn Parlament devaunt duobus sociis suis. . . . Post cujus ta- 
le Rey Alexaundre fiz son men obituni, David de Hastinges ac- 

counseil q ele ne deveit ceo par . . . cepit ejus comitatum provenientem 
er por ceo qe Countee nest pas part- sibi ex parte uxoris sue, que erat ma- 
able qe plus . . . es ce . . . tertera juvenis occisi. — Ghron. Mel. 


and the position they occupied in the eye of the common law 
of the land, those which had been either feudalised or created 
by the districts being erected into earldoms by the Crown, 
were in no different position from an ordinary barony, and 
were regulated by the feudal law, which was correctly laid 
down by Bruce, the lands being partible between co-heirs, but 
the dignity and the chief messuage belonging to the eldest 
co-heir. Of the former we have an example in the earldom 
of Caithness, which had become feudalised after the war 
between William the Lion and Harald, who, though of Scot- 
tish descent, had inherited through a Norwegian mother. On 
the death of John, earl of Caithness, the last of this line, in 
1231, the title of earl passed with only one half of the lands 
of the earldom to Magnus, a son of the earl of Angus, while 
we find the other half of the earldom in the possession of the 
family of De Moravia, and on the death of the last earl of 
the Angus line this half was again divided, and Malise, earl 
of Stratherne, became earl of Caithness, possessing, however, 
one-fourth only of the lands of the earldom.^^ In the same 
manner, when the earldom of Buchan, which had passed by 
marriage into the hands of the Norman family of Cumyn, 
was forfeited to the Crown, and the last earl was represented 
by tw^o co-heirs, one-half of the lands of the earldom was 
given by King Eobert Bruce to Sir John de Eoss, son of the 
earl of Ross, who had married the younger daughter ; and 
the other half, with the title of earl, was afterwards conferred 
upon Sir Alexander Stuart, second son of King Eobert ii. 

Of the additional earldoms which had been created by the 
Crown and added to the older earldom, the earliest, that of 
Menteath, affords an example. This earldom, like that of 
Buchan, had passed by marriage into the hands of a Cumyn, 

*^ The history of these ancient more so than that of the earldom of 
earldoms is very inaccurately given Caithness. These errors will be 
by the Peerage-writers, and none found corrected in Appendix No. v. 



and Walter Cumyn is termed Earl of Menteath as early as 
the year 1255. On his death in 1257 his widow married 
John Eussell, an unknown Englishman, and the nobles of 
Scotland, irritated at this, accused her of the murder of her 
former husband, and imprisoned both her and her second 
husband. Walter Stewart then claimed the earldom in right 
of his wife, and by the favour of the nobles obtained it. On 
the death of the first Countess her right passed to William 
Cumyn, who had married her daughter, and a controversy 
arose between him and Walter Stewart, which terminated 
in the title being confirmed to the latter, with one half of 
the earldom, while the other half was erected into a barony 
in favour of William Cumyn. The partition at a later 
period of the earldom of Lennox, another of these created 
earldoms, likewise affords an example. 

Such being the distinction between the old Celtic earl- 
doms represented by the seven earls and those subsequently 
constituted, we learn also from the discussions which took 
place in the competition for the crown somewhat of the 
rights which they claimed as their privilege ; for among the 
documents still preserved connected with the competition 
is an appeal on behalf of the seven earls of the kingdom of 
Scotland to Edward i., in which it is stated that, ' according 
to the ancient laws and usage of the kingdom of Scotland, 
and from the time whereof the memory of man was not to 
the contrary, it appertained to the rights and liberties of the 
seven earls of Scotland and the " communitas " of the same 
realm, whenever the royal throne should become vacant de 
facto et de jure, to constitute the king, and to place him in 
such royal seat, and to confer upon him all the honours be- 
longing to the government of the kingdom of Scotland.'^- 
And this function we find them evidently performing at the 
coronation of Alexander the Second. 

5- Palgrave, Documents, pp. 14, 15. 


Province of The oiily oiiG of the seven provinces which was required 
^°^ ' to be brought into more direct connection with the Crown 
was the great district of Arrcgaithel or Argyll, and early in 
his reign Alexander annexed the northern part to the earldom 
of Eoss, and placed that earldom in possession of a devoted 
adherent of his person. The district forming what was then 
called North Argyll consisted in a great measure of the terri- 
tory of the old and powerful Celtic monastery of Apercrossan, 
and had passed into the hands of a family of hereditary lay 
abbots, who termed themselves Sagarts or priests of Apple- 
cross ; and Ferquard Macintaggart, or the son of the Sagart 
or priest who had aided the young king in suppressing an 
insurrection of the Gaelic people of Moray and Eoss in sup- 
port of the pretensions of the Mac William and MacHeth 
families in the early part of his reign, was now created Earl 
of Eoss, which thus became a feudal earldom held of the Crown, 
by a family who were among its most loyal supporters.^^ 
The insurrection which took place a few years after in 
favour of Gillespie mac Eochagan, also of the family of Mac- 
William, led to the rest of this great district being subdued 
and brought into the same relation with the Crown. The 
king, we are told by Fordun, led an army into Argyll. The 
men of Argyll were frightened. Some gave hostages and a 
great deal of money, and were taken back in peace, while 
others, who had more offended against the king's will, forsook 
their estates and possessions and fled. But our lord the king 
bestowed both the land and the goods of these men upon his 
own followers ' at will ' ; or, as Wyntoun expresses it — 

' And athe tuk off thare fewte 
Wyth thare serwys and thare homage, 
That off hym wald hald thare herytage ; 
Bot the eshchetys off the lave 
To the lordys off that land he gave.' 

5-" Vol. i. p. 4S,3. 


Those who fled appear to have taken refuge in Galloway, as 
we find Gilescop Macihacain Avitnessing a clmrter in Galloway 
with a cluster of Gaelic names along with him ; ^* and as one 
of these names can be connected with the district of Lochaber, 
while the family of that Eoderic who joined with him in his 
rebellion appear to have had their main possessions in the dis- 
trict of Garmoran, extending from Ardnamurchan to Glenelg, 
the main seat of the rebellion appears to have been that 
central portion of the great region of Argyll which was said to 
pertain to Moravia or Moray, of which these districts formed a 
part. The native lords of this district were apparently those 
whom the king dispossessed, and whose possessions he gave 
to his own followers, and accordingly we find Lochaber soon 
after in the possession of the Cumyns. lu South Argyll, on 
the other hand, the native lords appear to have submitted to 
the king, as the family of Dubhgal, the eldest son of Somerled, 
the great Celtic Lord of Argyll, seem to have remained in 
possession of the extensive district of Lorn ; and it is at this 
time that we may fairly place a grant which appears to have 
been made of the lands in the interior which afterwards 
formed the lordship of Lochow to Duncan Mac Duine, the 
ancestor of the Campbells, a clan the head of which appears 
in the following reign as a close adherent of the Crown.^^ 

The seven earls of Scotland appear again as a body taking 
part in important transactions on two different occasions in 
this reign. In the first, which was the agreement between 
the kings of England and Scotland, by which a settlement of 
the claims of the latter was concluded in 1237, the seven 
earls among others became bound by oath to maintain the 

^■* Vol. i. p. 486. the said Archibald Campbell, en- 

^^ See charter by David ii., con- joyed the same in the barony of 

firming in 1368 to Archibald Camp- Lochaw, or other lands belonging to 

bell, son of Colin, the lands of Craig- him. — HU. Com., A Keport, p. 40. 

nish, Melfort, and others, with all The first Campbell on record is 

the liberties thereof, as freely as Gillespie Campbell in 1266, and 

Duncan Mac Duine, progenitor of this Duncan was his grandfather. 


agreement. These were the earls of Dunbar, of Stratherne, 
of Lennox, of Angus, of Mar, of Atholl, and of Eoss ; and 
here we find the earls of Lennox, of Mar, and of Eoss, coming 
in place of those of Fife, Menteath, and Buclian ; but when 
the agreement was renewed seven years afterwards, in 1244, 
the seven earls who became bound that King Alexander 
would observe good faith were, Patrick Earl of Dunbar, 
Malcolm Earl of Fife, ]\Lalise Earl of Stratherne, Walter 
Cumyn Earl of Menteath, William Earl of Mar, Alexander 
(younger) Earl of Buchan, and David de Hastings Earl of 
Atholl ; ^^ the Earls of Fife, Menteath, and Buchan again 
appearing among them, and those of Lennox, Angus, and 
Eoss being omitted. We thus see that though the number of 
seven was always retained, the constituent members were not 
always the same, the latter being probably regulated by the 
respective positions of the earldom at the time, for in 1237 
the earldom of Angus had passed by marriage into possession 
of one of the powerful family of Cumyn, but he had died in 
1242, and the Countess of Angus had in 1243 replaced him 
with a Norman Baron, Gilbert de Umphraville, whom she 
took as her second husband. 
Seven Earls In the elaborate and picturesque account which Fordun 

in the _ _ -^ 

reign of gives US of the coronation of Alexander the Third when a 


the Third, boy of eight ycars old, he does not give the seven earls, as a 
body, a part in the ceremonial, but simply says that the royal 
boy was accompanied by a number of earls, barons, and 
knights. The only earls he mentions by name are Walter 
Cumyn Earl of Menteath, Malcolm Earl of Fife, and Malise 
Earl of Stratherne ; but it is probable that in a coronation in 
which the Celtic element loomed so largely, he did not intend 
to imply that this body did not play the same part which 
they did in the coronation of his father ; and this we may 
reasonably infer, for he tells that in the second year of his 

^^ Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 257. 



reign a solemn ceremony took place at Dunfermline, when, 
in the presence of bishops and abbots, earls and barons, and 
other good men both clerics and laymen, the relics of Saint 
Margaret were enshrined at Dunfermline. The record of this 
transaction in the Chartulary of Dunfermline bears that it 
was done in presence of the seven bishops and seven earls of 
Scotland.^'' It is obvious, however, that this body of the 
seven earls were gradually losing their separate corporate 
existence, and were no longer able to maintain in this reign 
the functions they exercised in previous reigns ; for when the 
succession to the throne was settled upon the daughter of 
Alexander in 1284, we find them merged in the general 
' communitas,' or feudal community of the kingdom, in which 
the entire body of the earls, now amounting to thirteen, appear. 
They take a part, but apparently not an influential one, in 
the discussions that took place after the death of the Maid of 
Norway between the competitors for the crown; and probably 
the last attempt they made to repossess themselves of the 
important position they formerly occupied in the affairs of 
the kingdom was when in 1 297 they, in conjunction with John 
Comyn of Badenoch, invaded England at the head of a pow- 
erful army which met in Annandale and besieged Carlisle. 
The seven earls engaged in this expedition were the earls of 
Buchan, Menteath, Stratherne, Lennox, Eoss, Atholl, and 
Mar ; ^^ but the attempt resulted disastrously for them, for 
they were obliged to raise the siege and return to Scotland ; 
and then again assembling at Roxburgh they made a second 
raid into the eastern part of England as far as the priory of 
Hexham, which they destroyed, and returned with a great 

®' Fordun, Chron., ed. 1874, vol. lectoexercitu validoin valle Aiinan- 

ii. p. 289, and note p. 436. die, feria secunda Paschse Augliani 

^'^ Quo tempore septem Comites iiigressi, vastabant omnia csde et 

Scotiae, viz. de Bowan, deMeneteth, inceudio, et non parcentes aitati vel 

de Stradeherne, de Lewenes, de Ros. sexui venientes Carleolum urbem, 

de Athel, de Mar, ac Johannes filius ipsam obsidione cinxerunt. — Wil- 

Johannis Comyn de Badenau, col- lelmi Rishanger Chronica, p. 156. 



booty to Scotland. They tlien besieged and took the castle 
of Dunbar, the earl of Dunbar having submitted to the king 
of England, but being besieged by the English in their turn 
the castle was taken, and three of the earls, viz., those of 
Menteath, Atholl, and Eoss, were taken prisoners, with John 
Oomyn and five other barons, with twenty-nine knights, two 
clerics, and eighty-three esquires, and confined in different 
castles in England.^^ 

After this we hear no more of the seven earls of 
Scotland. As a coustitutional body possessing, or claim- 
ing to possess, separate privileges, they are merged in the 
general ' Communitas regni, ' or Estates of the kingdom, 
the feudal 'Curia regis' consisting of all who held lands in 
chief of the Crown, As we have seen, when the succession 
to the Crown was settled towards the end of the reign of 
Alexander the Third, they take no part as a separate body, 
but are merged in the general assembly of the feudal baron- 
age of the kingdom, consisting of thirteen earls and twenty- 
four barons, and six years afterwards there is a still fuller 
representation of the Estates of the kingdom, when a letter is 
addressed to Edward the First by the Communitas regni 
urging him to arrange a marriage of his son with the Maid of 
Norway. The body from whom this letter proceeds consists 
of the two bishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow, John Cumyn, 
and James, High Steward, the guardians of the kingdom ; 
ten diocesan bishops ; twelve of the thirteen earls, the earl of 
Fife being then a minor; twenty-three abbots of monasteries, 
eleven priors, and forty-eight barons holding of the Crown.^** 
Xeither do they appear as a separate body in the great 
national protest addressed by the Communitas regni to the 
Pope in 1320, and signed on their behalf by eight of the earls 
and twenty-eight of the baron s.^^ 

^8 Willelmi Rishanger Chronica, '''* Rymer's Fc&dera, ii. p. 471. 

l)p. 159, 160. "' Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 291. 


The state, then, of the land, as thus exhibited to us in the state of tLe 
reign of Alexander the Third, appears to have been this. — A ,.e/gn of 
large portion of the territory of the kingdom was now held the ™rd! 
in chief of the Crown by barons, very few of whom were 
of Celtic descent, on the feudal tenure of military service. 
Another portion of the territory formed the domain of the 
Crown. A third portion formed the territory possessed by 
the old earls of Scotland, and presented, in miniature, the 
same characteristics as the Crown land, being partly held of 
the earls by the vassals of the earldom, and partly forming 
his domain ; and a very large extent of territory, probably not 
less than a third of the whole land, belonged to the Church, 
and formed the possessions either of the bishoprics, or of the 
great monasteries which had been founded by the kings of 
this dynasty, while the lands which had formed the territory 
of the old Celtic monasteries and had become secularised, 
now appear either in the possession of the Crown or of the 
monasteries under the name of ' abthaniae ' or abthainries. 

In that part of Scotland which still retained, in the main, 
a Celtic population, we may expect to find the Celtic tenures 
still prevailing to a large extent, and still exhibiting many of 
their peculiar characteristics ; but where the population had 
become in a large measure Teutonic, and where so much of 
the land was now held on feudal tenures by the great barons 
of the Crown, and by the Eoman monastic orders, and where 
so many of the earldoms had passed by marriage into Norman 
families, it is more difficult to discover the traces of a Celtic 
occupation, and the peculiarities of the Celtic tenures under 
the feudal forms which shrouded them from observation. 
These we can only expect to find on that portion of land 
which formed the proper demesne of the Crown and of the 
old earls, and had been retained in their own possessions 
without the interposition of any feudal vassals between them 
and the actual occupiers of the soil. 


TheCiown Qf tlie mocle in which the deiuestie hiiid of the Crown 


was actually possessed, we have fortunately a very distinct 
account given to us by the old chronicler, John of Fordun. 
He refers it back to the period of Malcolm the Second, to 
whom nine spurious laws have been attributed, and sup- 
poses it to have originated witli him ; but tliis may be re- 
garded as a mere theory, framed on the basis of the 
spurious history of Scotland, to account for a state of 
matters which existed in his own day, and we have only 
to separate the mythic part of his statement from what is 
obviously the result of his own observation. He tells us 
that ' histories relate the aforesaid jMalcolm to have been so 
open-handed, or rather prodigal, that wdiile, according to 
ancient custom, he held as his own property all the lands, 
districts, and provinces of the whole kingdom, he kept no- 
thing thereof in his possession but the Moothill of the royal 
seat of Scone, where the kings, sitting in their royal robes 
on the throne, are wont to give out judgments, laws, and 
statutes to their subjects. Of old, indeed, the kings were 
accustomed to grant to their soldiers in feu-farm more or less 
of their own lands, a portion of any province, or a thanage ; 
for at that time almost the whole kingdom was divided into 
thanages. Of these he granted to each one as much as he 
pleased, either on lease by the year as tillers of the ground, 
or for ten or twenty years, or in liferent, with remainder to 
one or two heirs, as free and kindly tenants, and to some 
likewise, though few, in perpetuity, as knights, thanes, and 
chiefs, not however so freely, but that each of them paid a 
certain annual feu-duty to their lord the king.' *'- 

The first or mythic part of this statement corresponds 

with the spurious laws of Malcolm the Second, which thus 

commence — ' 1. King Malcolme gave and distributed all his 

lands of the realm of Scotland amongst his men ; 2. and re- 

'^■- Fordun, Chronicle, vol. ii. p. 177. 


served natliing in propertie to himselfe but the Royale dig- 
nitie and the Mute hill in the town of Scone,'*^^ and may be 
disregarded as belonging to the spurious history of Scotland. 
Whether there ever was a time when it could be said that the 
king possessed nothing but the Moothill of Scone, and in 
what sense it could be said that the whole kingdom was 
divided into thanages, and that the whole lands of the king- 
dom once belonged to the Crown, is a question that must be 
determined in the course of this inquiry ; but when the old 
chronicler tells us by what class of persons the Crown lands 
were actually possessed, and by what species of tenure they 
held them, he is dealing with matters which still existed in 
his own day, and the characteristics of which he had every 
means of ascertaining if they were not perfectly familiar to 
him, and he gives us a very distinct account of them. He dis- 
criminates between three classes of persons as possessing these 
lands. The lowest class were the agricolce or husbandmen, 
the actual cultivators of the soil, who were regarded as yearly 
tenants, and are, no doubt, the same class with those who are 
termed 'bondi and nativi in feudal charters. They were, in 
the eastern di.stricts, the remains of the old Celtic population. 
The class next above them consisted of the liberi and gcnc- 
ros% who held land either on lease for ten or twenty years, or 
in liferent renewable for one or two lives. The former were 
probably equivalent to the liberi firmarii or free farmers, 
and the latter to the Eentallers or kindly tenants of the feudal 
holdings. Tlie third class, who held directly of the Crown, were 
either militcs or knights, who held a knight's fee for military 
service, or thani, who held a thanage, or principcs or mag- 
nates. And he defines a thanage to be a portion of the land of 
a province held ad feodojirmam,'^^ or in feu-farm, the holder 

^^ Regiam Majeslatem, p. i. as meaning what is inconsistently 

"^ This word feodofirma, called called a hereditary lease, but it was 

feu-farm in Scotland and fee-farm not so at least in Scotland. It was 

in England, is usually understood a grant of the feodum or fee of the 


of which was subject in payment of an annual ' census ' or 
feu-duty. By the princijMs, lie probably refers either to the 
Mormaers or Earls of the old Celtic earldoms, or to the posi- 
tion of the great Celtic vassals in the western districts as 
chiefs of clans.^^ Fordun was himself connected with the 
northern counties of Kincardine and Aberdeen, where the 
older holdings of the thanage still maintained their position 
in the greatest degree even to his own day. He was a chap- 
lain in the diocese of Aberdeen, and the Chartulary of that 
bishopric has preserved to us a rental of the Crown lands 
in the reign of Alexander the Third, which shows their 
extent and the nature of the holdings. In this rental we 
find the lands of Aberdeen, Belhelvy, Kintore, Fermartyn, 
Obyne, Glendowachy, Boyn, Munbre, and Natherdale, which 
are termed thanages ; Convalt, which is termed a ' dominium' 
or lordship ; Lydgat, Uchterless, and Eothymay, called 
baronies ; and other lands which have no particular desig- 
nation, with the towns of Aberdeen, CuUen, and Banff.*^*^ 
We also learn that the upper part of the vales of the rivers 
Dee and Don formed the domain of the earldom of Mar, 
which consisted of the districts of Braemar, Strathdee, Cromar, 
and Strathdon, while an extensive territory on the Dee, which 
had formerly belonged to the earldom, was held in the reign 
of Alexander the Third by one of his most powerful feudal 
vassals, Alan the Doorward, to whose father it had been given 
as a compensation for a claim he had to the earldom of Mar ; 
but though we do not find any of the lands of this earldom 
bearing the name of thanages, this denomination was still re- 
tained in the demesne of two of the more westerly earldoms. 
In Atholl we have the thanages of Glentilt, Crannich, Ach- 
more, Candknock, while the great abthanrie of Dull belonged 

estate, and not merely of the usu- vol. ii. p. 414 note, 

truct, burdened with an annual pay- *•' This subject will be more fully 

ment of a Jirma or census, instead discussed in a subsequent chapter. 

of military service. — See Fordun, "'' Chart. Aberdeen, vol. i. p. 55. 


to the Crown ; and in Stratherne we find the thanases of 
Strain and Dunning held under the earls, and that of For- 
teviot with the abthanrie of Madderdyn or Madderty in the 

While in the eastern districts we find the older holdings 
which survived from the Celtic period though disguised 
under a Saxon nomenclature, which owes its origin probably 
to the reigns of Edgar and Alexander the First, explained in 
language more appropriate to feudal holdings, when v^e pass 
over to the western districts which still possessed a Celtic 
population where the Saxon terminology has not penetrated, 
we come in contact at once with the realities of the Celtic 
tribal system which the adoption of feudal forms little 
affected, and whose customs are therefore less disguised by 
feudal forms, while the relation of the different classes to 
each other, though nominally feudal, are practically tribal. 
Although, when the great district of Argyll was annexed to 
the Crown and other insurrections among the Gaelic tribes 
were repressed, grants of land were, to some extent, given to 
Norman barons, with a view to the more effectual suppression 
of the unruly inhabitants, they conveyed little beyond a bare 
feudal superiority and introduced no foreign resident element, 
and thus hardly influenced the Celtic tribes who remained 
the actual holders of the soil ; and when, by the cession of the 
Isles in the reign of Alexander the Third, the Norwegian 
dominion over them was transferred to Scotland, we find that 
the great Celtic lords of the Southern Isles, who had held them 
as kings under the Norwegian Crown, retained the same 
position under the Scottish king. At the great meeting ol' 
the Community of Scotland, which settled the succession of 
the Crown in 1283, we see the heads of three great families 
descended from Somerled — viz. Alexander de Ergadia, Angus, 
son of Dovenald, and Alan, son of liotheric — appearing among 
them, the first being the powerful Lord of Lorn, and the 


second the Lord of the Isles, wliilc the third owned large 
territories both on the mainhmd and in the Isles. 
District of One of the lirst acts of John Baliol, when his claim to the 


divided thronc was preferred, was to assimilate the district of Argyll 

into sheiill- i.ii-i n i -r -i i ■, • , 

doms. and the kingdom ot the Isles to the system which prevailed 
in the rest of the kingdom, which was divided into sheriff- 
doms, in which the king was represented by the vicecomes or 
sheriff, and the Act of Parliament by which this was done 
will show how the land in these western regions was then 
held within eight years of the death of Alexander the Third.'''^ 
By this Act, which was passed in 1292, the sheriffdom of 
Skye was to consist of the lands of the earls of Eoss in North 
Argail, that is, the western part of the present county of Eoss, 
the lands of Glenelg, the Crown lands of Skye and Lewis (here 
the principal lords were the Macleods of Harris and Lewis 
though they are not named), the lands of Garmoran, with the 
islands of Egg and Eume (this had been the chief seat of the 
Lords of the Isles descended from Eoderic, son of Eeginald), 
and the islands of Uist and Barra, where the MacNeills were 
the principal possessors. The sheriffship of Lorn was to consist 
of the lands of Ardnamurchan and Kinnelbathyn or Morvern ; 
the lands of Alexander de Ergadia, Lord of Lorn ; of John 
de Glenurchy, of Gilbert M'Naughton, of Malcolm Maclvor, 

''" Domiims Rex pro pace et stabi- galli de^Cragins Terra Johannis Mc- 

litate regni sui observandus statuit (lilcrist Terra Magistri Radulphi de 

et ordinavit quod de terris subscrip- Dunde, Terra Gileskel M'Lachl[an] 

tis tient [vicecomitatus] videlicet. Terra Comitis de Meneteth de Kna- 

De terra comitis de Eos in Nort Ar- pedal, Terra Anegus filii Dovenaldi 

gail, Terra de Glenc[elg] Terra Regis Insularum et Terra Coliiii Cambel et 

de Skey et Lodoux, octo davaux de vocetur vicecomitatus de [Lorn], 

terra [Garmoran] Egge et Rumme De terris de Kentyr cum omnibus 

Guiste et Barrich cum minutis insu- tenentibus terras in eadem. Terra 

lis etvoceturvicecomitatusde Skey. Loclimani McKilcolim McErewer 

De terris Kinnebatliyn Ardemui- Terra Enegus McErewer, Terra de 

rich Bothelve, Terra Alexandri de ... Insula de Boot, Terra Domini 

Argadia, Terra Johannis de Glen- Thomaj Cambel, et Terra Duukani 

urwy, Terra Gilbert! Mc[Nauchton] Duf et vocetur vicecomitatus de 

Terra Malcolmi M'lvyr Terra Du- Kentyr.— ^c^ct Pari. vol. i. p. 447. 


of Dugald of Craignish, of John, son of Gilclirist of Eadulpli 
of Dundee, who was a Scrymgeour, whose ancestor had re- 
ceived a grant of Glassrie from Alexander the Second ; of 
Gillespie M'Lachlan, of the earl of Menteath who had a 
rio-ht to Knapdale, of Anegus, son of Dovenald the Lord of 
the Isles, and of Colin Campbell, Lord of Lochow ; and the 
sheriffdom of Kintyre was to consist, besides the possessors 
of the district of Kintyre, of the lands of the Lamonts, of 
Thomas Cambel, and of Dunkan Duff, in Cowall, and of the 
island of Bute. 



[book III. 



The prob- 
lem to be 


The occupation of the lands which formed the territory of 
the kingdom of Scotland in the reio-n of Alexander the 
Third, the mutual relation of the different races by which it 
was held, the connection of the Celtic portion of the population 
with the soil, the tenure by which they possessed it, and the 
different classes in their social organisation which it discloses, 
present to us the problem which we have to solve, and we 
have now to trace the history of the early institutions from 
which its phenomena were derived, and the extent to which 
they have been affected by internal change or by external 

But before entering upon this inquiry it may be well to 
aee what legend or tradition tells us with regard to the Celtic 
portion of the population, with which we have now mainly to 
do. Such legends or traditions are either intended as a means 
of conveying some early facts in the history of the race in a 
popular form, or of clothing some truths in a symbolic dress, 
or they are merely the picturesque imaginations of their early 
sennachies or native historians. Those which relate to the 
Celtic population of Scotland are derived from two different 
sources. They are either Welsh or Irish, that is, they are the 
legends of either the Cymric or the Gaelic race, and in esti- 
mating their relative value it is necessary to take their pro- 
bable origin and character into account. Some of them are 


what may be termed ethnic legends. They are designed to 
perpetuate the popular conception of the origin and early 
settlements of the race, but they are the creation of a period 
when there had been some progress in the culture of the 
people, and when they possessed a rude literature derived in 
the main from the spread of Christianity and the establish- 
ment of Christian institutions among them. Their authors 
felt the necessity of connecting the early history of the 
country with the events of Biblical or Classical history, and 
it assumed the shape of a fictitious narrative which belongs 
to the mythic period of their annals. Others again may 
be called linguistic legends, and were rude attempts to 
account for peoples nominally distinct, and from pride of 
race regarding each other as independent races, possessing 
the same language and using a cognate form of speech. 
Others were what may be truly called historical legends, 
and handed down in a more or less modified shape events 
which we have reason to think actually took place ; while 
others again were purely artificial, and were simply the rude 
and fastastic creations of the popular mind, which felt the 
necessity of filling up the dark period of the annals of 
their race with imaginary events calculated to gratify 
their national feeling and their natural love of the mar- 

The ethnic legends invariably connect the origin of the Ethnic 
people with Biblical or Classical history, and assumes that 
some of the races which formed the oldest population of the 
country, and were really indigenous, had immigrated from 
some foreign land. We find it assuming two different shapes. 
In the one the different nations constituting the early 
population were separate colonies which proceeded from 
foreign countries and entered the land at different periods. 
Thus Bede tells us of the early population of Britain 
that it was first peopled by a colony of ' Brittones ' who 

92 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. |book hi. 

came from Armorica; that then the Picts came from 
Scythia, and the nation of the Scots came from Ireland ; 
and he places these successive colonies prior to the Koman 
invasion of Britain. The legendary history of Ireland pre" 
sents the early history of its population in the same aspect. 
The account of the successive colonies which occupied 
Ireland is supposed to have been narrated to Saint Patrick 
by her earliest historian Fintan, who lived before the Flood, 
and remained alive during the whole of the centuries which 
elapsed till the introduction of Christianity. The Book of 
Ballimote contains a poem supposed to have been written 
by him. If he was a real personage, he may have been 
Fintan Munnu, a celebrated Irish saint who died on 25th 
October 634, but the poem is no doubt a later composition, 
and a translation is here inserted as giving in short compass 
these successive peoplings of the island, and as a good 
specimen of their early legends. 

As the learned historian has related, namely Fintan : — 


' Should any one inquire of me about Eire, 
I can tell most accurately 
Respecting every invasion which took place 
From the beginning of all pleasing life. 

' Ceasair set out from the East, 
The woman who was daughter of Beatha, 
Accompanied by fifty daughters, 
As also by three men. 


' The deluge came on. 
Bith resided at his mountain without secrecy, 
Ladra at Ard Ladran, 
And Ceasair at her corner. 



' As to me, I remained a year under the flood 
At Tul Tinnde of strength. 

There had not been slept, nor will there be slept, 
A sleep better than that which I had. 

' I was then in Ireland ; 
Pleasant was my condition 
When Partholon arrived 
From the Grecian country in the East. 


' I was also in Ireland 
While it was uninhabited. 
Until the son of Agnoman arrived, 
Neimead of pleasant manners. 

' Fir Bolg and Fir Gaillian 
Arrived a long period afterwards. 
The Fir Domnan then arrived. 
And landed in Iirus westward. 


' After them the Tuatha De arrived 
Concealed in their dark clouds 
I ate my food with them. 
Though at such a remote period. 


' Then came the sons of Milead 
From Spain southward. 
I lived and ate with them, 
Though fierce were their battle.^. 


' A continuity of life 
Still remained with me, 

For in my time Chiistianity was here established 
By the king of heaven of the clouds.' 

The history of these successive colonies is elaborated with 
many details in the fictitious history of Ireland during the 

04 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [hook hi. 

mythic period, but it is unnecessary for our purpose to enter 
into these details except in so far as they hear upon the 
legendary history of the people of Scotland.^ 

Another form of the ethnic legend is one common to the 
early history of all countries during the mythic period. In it 
the race is personified in an cjJonT/mus who is the supposed 
ancestor and founder of it, and their supposed settlement in 
the country in which they are first found is prefigured in a 
marriage with a female whose name has an obvious relation 
to it, and thus an ethnic family is produced, the sons of which 
usually represent the territorial divisions of the country. 
This family has therefore a territorial as well as an ethnic 
meaning, and the filiation does not always imply affinity of 
race, but may indicate no more than the joint occupation of 
the country by the different tribes personified in the members 
of the ethnic family. We have an instance of this form of 
the legend in the well-known fable contained in Geoffrey of 
Monmouth's fabulous history, where Brutus, the eponymus 
of the Britons, appears as the first colonist in the island, and 
has three sons, Locrinus, Camber, and Albanactus, represent- 
ing the Lloegry of England, the Cymry of Wales, and the 
people of Alban or Scotland, as well as in the older form of 
the legend, where Brutus and Albanus are brothers. In the 
Irish form Gathelus or Gaidelglas, the eponymus of the Gael, 
marries Scota the daughter of Pharaoh, by which the settle- 
ment of the Gael in Scotia or Ireland is prefigured, and his 
period is brought back so as to connect his history and that 
of his race with the Biblical narrative. His descendant 
Milesius, son of Bile, son of Breogan, is also said to have 
married Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, and actually settles the 
race in Ireland. We find, however, this feature of the legend, 

^ The account of these supposed Keating's History of Ireland, which 

colonies in all their subsequent contains a very accurate represen- 

elaboration will be found in tlie tation of the Irish legends in regard 

Annals of the Four Masters, and in to them. 


which represents the territorial divisions of the country by 
the sons of the supposed colonist, running through the whole 
of the first form of tlie legend. Thus Partholan, the first 
colonist after the flood, arrives with three sons, Eughruidhe, 
Slainge, and Laighlinne, and after their death he divides 
Ireland between four sons, Er, Orba, Fearann, and Feargna. 
The second colonist, Neniead, has a wife, Macha, from whom 
Ardmacha or Armagh takes its name, thus signifying the 
principal seat of the race ; and he has three sons, larbheineoil, 
Fersfus Leithdearcr, and Starn, and Ireland is divided into three 
parts between Beothach son of larbheineoil, Briotan son of 
Fergus Leithdearg, and Simon son of Beoain son of Starn. 
The people of Nemead are then driven out of Ireland by the 
Fomoraigh or sea pirates, and depart in three bodies. One 
under Beothach goes to the north of Europe, another under 
Briotan to the north of Britain, and the third under Simon to 
Greece. The third colonists, the Firbolg, come from Greece 
under Dela, a descendant of Simon, and by him Ireland is 
divided into five districts between his five sons, Slainge, 
Gaun, Seangan, Geannan, and Rughruidhe ; and these were 
the five provinces of Ireland — Leinster, possessed by Slainge ; 
Thomond and Desmond, the two divisions of Munster, by 
Gann and Seangan ; Connaught by Geannan, and Ulster by 
Eughruidhe. Here we have a reproduction of two of the 
sons of Partholan in Slainge and Eughruidhe. We have 
again a threefold division of Ireland under the fourth colon- 
ists, the Tuatha De, supposed to be the descendants of 
Beothach, son of larbheineoil; and the three sons of Cearmadha 
Milbeoil their king — MacCuil, MacCeacht, and MacGreine — 
have three queens, Eire, Fodla, and Banba, which are simply 
the three oldest names in Ireland. Milesius too has three 
sons, Eber, Heremon, and Ir, of whom tlie former possessed 
the two Munsters, Heremon Leinster and Connaught, and Ir 
Ulster ; and here again we find the same reproduction of 

^6 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book in. 

previous names, for Eber has the same four sons, Er, Orba, 
Fearann, and Feargna,- who are attributed to Partholan, and 
the descendants of Ir who occupied Ulster were termed the 
race of Rughruidhe from a descendant of that name. We 
also find that this filiation from the same parents does not 
imply identity of race, for the descendants of Ir, to whom the 
name of Eughruidhe especially belongs, and who peopled the 
north of Ireland, appear throughout the Irish Annals under 
the name of Cruithnigh, and were no other tlian the Picts 
who were settled in Ireland. 
Linguistic The fomi which the linguistic legend usually assumes 

is that of a colony of soldiers obtaining wives from another 
people whose language they adopt, and perhaps the most 
curious specimen is that told of the Britons of Armorica by 
Nennius. He tells us that when Maximus, who was declared 
emperor in Britain, went over to Gaul to maintain his pre- 
tensions, he withdrew from Britain its military force, and. 
unwilling to send his soldiers back to their wives, children, 
and possessions in Britain, settled them in Armorica, where 
they became the Armorican Britons, and some MSS. have 
the following addition : — These Armorican Britons, having 
laid waste and depopulated the country, took the wives and 
daughters of the previous inhabitants in marriage, but cut 
out their tongues that their children might not learn their 
mother tongue. Hence they were called Leicwiccion or half 
speech.^ The meaning of this tale is, that identity of lan- 
guage is implied by the marriage of the leaders of one people 
with the wives and daughters of another, and a dialectic dif- 
ference could only be accounted for by depriving the females 

- These names have a meaning I'al ; and Ftargna, chieftainship, 
connected with land, and probably ^ The word meant is Lediaith. 

personify the different kinds of In Welsh, identity of language was 

tenure by which the land was implied by Cijjiaith, dialectic differ- 

held. Er means noble ; Orba, in- ence by Ltdiaitli, and difference of 

heritance ; Fearann, land in gene- \&ng\xa.g& hy Anghyviaith. 


of the power of speech. The story told by Bede that the I'icts 
had no wives, and first asked them of tlie Britons and were 
refused, and then obtained them from the Scots, is likewise a 
legend, intended to account for that people, or at least the 
greater portion of them, speaking a Gaelic dialect ; and in the 
same manner the oldest poem which narrates the (Settlement 
of the Milesian Scots in Ireland tells us that ' Cruithne, the 
son of Cinge, took tlieir women from them ; ' and then after — 

There were no charming noble wives 

For their young men. 

Their women having been stolen, they made affinity 

With the Tuatha Dea.* 

Here we have the same story of the Picts, as personified 
in their e2wnymus Cruithne taking their wives from the 
Milesians, and the latter replacing them by wives taken from 
the previous inhabitants of the Tuath De. The meaning is 
obviously linguistic, and such legends are intended simply 
to express a community of language between the supposed 
military colonies and the people from whom they obtained 
their wives. 

Some of these legends have, however, a historical basis. Historical 
such as those which relate to supposed settlements of the '''^^"'^'• 
race of the Scots in Britain. These contain an element of 
truth, in so far as temporary settlements of the Scots took 
place in Britain in the fourth century, when they first appear 
in history, and joined the Picts, Saxons, and Attacotti in 
assailing the Ptoman province in Britain ; and still more 
when a permanent settlement of the Scots on the west coast 
north of the Firth of Clyde undoubtedly took place in the 
beginning of the sixth century, and the small Scottish 
kingdom of Dalriada was formed. 

Others of these legends, however, are undoubtedly purely Artificial 
artificial, and the entire legendary history of Ireland prior to early Irish 

■* Chron. Picts and Scots, pp. 47, 48. 
VOL. III. a, 

98 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book hi. 

the establislnneiit of Christianity in the fifth century partakes 
hiri,fely of this character. It presents us with a minute 
tletail of the colonies supposed to have preceded the settlement 
of the Scots, with the names and families of their leaders, the 
exact period, even to the day of the week, of their settlement, 
the duration of their occupation of the country, the succession 
of their kings, and the liistor}^ of the extinction of the colony 
either by pestilence or expatriation. Then we have the reigns 
of 1 1 6 pagan kings of the Scots, who reigned during twenty- 
one centuries, given with an extraordinary minuteness and 
elaboration of detail, and the accompaniment of marvellous 
incidents, which betrays its legendary character. Ethnic and 
linguistic legends are of course interwoven in it, and it may 
contain fragments of history, such as the revolt of the Attach- 
tuatha or servile classes against their lords, and the territorial 
changes in tlie divisions of the land and the location of the 
tribes which took place from time to time; but the marvellous 
character of the events continues to the establishment of 
Christianity, as we see in the narrative of the reigns of three 
last pagan kings, the first of whom, Niall, who reigned from 
379 to 405, subjected all Britain and a great part of the 
Continent to his sway, and received hostages from nine king- 
doms, whence he was called Niall of the nine Hostages; Dathy, 
wlio was killed by a flash of lightning at the foot of the Alps 
in the year 428 ; and Laogaire, who was slain by the elements 
between two mountains called Erin and Alban for refusing 
obedience to the mission of St. Patrick. The chronology of 
this legendary history, too, is entirely artificial, and though 
some parts of the narrative may have a historic basis, the dates 
assigned to them are as little to be trusted as the rest of the 
history itself. One of the tales contained in the Book of 
Ballimote, by which the knowledge of this wonderful history 
was supposed to have been preserved to historic times, will 
furnish a good example of what the imagination of its framers 


was capable of producing, and it has an interest for us from 
the connection it had with the great apostle of Scotland, as 
that of Fintan had with the apostle of Ireland. We are 
there told that the entire colony of Partholon's people were 
destroyed by the plague, excepting one man, Tuan the son of 
Starn, the son of Seara, Partholon's brother's son, and God 
metamorphosed him into various forms, so that he lived from 
the time of Partholon to that of Columcille, to whom he 
related all the information, history, and conquests of Ireland 
that took place from Ceasair's time to that period, and then 
we have the following poem : — 


Tuan, .son of Cairill, as we are told, 
Was freed from sin by Jesus ; 
One hundred years complete he lived, 
He lived in bloominf' manhood. 

Three hundred years in the shape of a wild ox 
He lived on the open extensive plains ; 
Two hundred and five years he lived 
In the shape of a wild boar. 

Three hundred years he was still in the flesh 
In the shape of an old bird : 
One hundred delightful years he lived 
In the shape of a salmon in the flood. 

A fisherman caught him in his net. 
He brought it to the king's palace ; 
When the bright salmon was there seen, 
The queen immediately longed for it. 

It was forthwith dressed for her, 
Which she alone ate entire ; 
The beauteous queen became pregnant, 
The issue of which was Tuan. 



[book III. 

These legends, however, though it has been thought to 
indicate their real character and to inquire how far they may 
be supposed to embody etiinologic and linguistic facts or to 
contain an element of historic truth, in reality concern us 
only in so far as they tend to throw light upon the constituent 
elements of the Celtic population of Scotland and the corre- 
sponding territorial divisions of the land. So far as regards 
the early Celtic peoples south of tlie Firths of Forth and 
Clyde, we must turn in the first instance to the Cymric 
legends.^ They tell us that this population may be referred 
to three races, the Brython, the Eomani, and the Gwyddyl. 
Thus in a poem contained in the Book of Taliessin we find 
them thus alluded to : — 

Three races cruel from true disposition, 
Gwyddyl and Brython and Roniani, 
Create discord and confusion ; 

^ la referring to the Cymric 
legends it is necessary to be careful 
as to the source from which they are 
derived. The literature of Wales has 
been unfortunately tainted to a large 
extent bj' spurious documents pro- 
fessing to be old, but in the main the 
creation of the eighteenth century, 
when a school of Welsh antiquaries 
existed, desirous of reproducing 
what they considered a sort of mys- 
tic Druidism supposed to have been 
handed down from pagan times by 
a successor of Baedi, and wlio were 
little scrupulous as to the means 
by which they promoted their ob- 
ject. Among the documents emerg- 
ing from this school were the so- 
called Historical Triads, which the 
author rejects as spurious. A valu- 
able and interesting work, the Mahi- 
nogion, by Lady Charlotte Guest, 
containing the ancient Welsh prose 
tales preserved in the Red Book of 
Hergest, unfortunately includes one 

of these spurious pieces, the Hanes 
Taliessin, among the genuine tales. 
The author announced in his Fou7- 
Ancient Books of Wales that this 
tale, though included in those said 
to be taken from the Red Book of 
Hergest, is not to be found in that 
M8. , and is certainly a maniifacture 
of the last century ; while more 
spurious poems, attributed to Tali- 
essin but not to be found in the 
Book of Taliessin, have been intro- 
duced into it, though not forming a 
part of it. He regrets to see that 
this spurious document is still in- 
cluded in the new edition of the 
Mctbinoglon among the tales said to 
be taken from the Red Book of 
Hergest, as if the imposture had 
never been detected. It shows liow 
difficult it is to purge the early his- 
torical literature of any country of 
such spurious matter when once it 
has been accepted as genuine. 


And about the boundary of Prydain, beautiful its towns, 


e" There is a battle agjainst chiefs above the niead vessels.'"^ 

Although the word Givydclyl is in modern Welsh usually 
translated Irish, yet there can be no doubt that it was origin- 
ally used in a much wider sense as the equivalent of the 
Irish word Gaidheal, and was applied to the whole Gaelic 
race wherever located. Of this there is ample evidence in 
the old Welsh poems. The Brython are, of course, the 
Brettones of Bede, or rather here that part of them which 
occupied the districts extending from the Derwent to the 
(Jlyde, and formed the ancient Cumbria. In the same poem 
they appear^under their national name of Cymry, when it is 

From Peuryn Wleth to Loch Reon (that is, from Glasgow 

to Loch Ryan), 
The Cymry are of one mind, bold heroes. 

By the Roraani, those leaders of the Britons are meant 
who were supposed to have derived their descent from the 
Roman military or civil commanders, as when Gildas tells us 
that the Britons ' took arms under Ambrosius Aurelianus as 
their leader, who was of the Roman nation, and whose parents 
had been adorned with the purple ; ''' and Nennius, who calls 
liim Enibres Guletic, says that his father was a consul of the 
Roman nation.^ We find also many of the great leaders of 
the Britons termed Gulcdig, the equivalent of the Latin 
Imperator, and usually expressed by the epithet Aurelius or 
-A-urelianus ; and to them no doubt the great national hero 
Arthur also belonged, who, according to Nennius, led the 
kings of the Britons against the Saxons as their Dux Bel- 
lorum,^ and whose actions, so far as they are historical, belong 
to this part of Britain. Of the last two races, the Brython 
and the Romani, we have an account in an old document, 

" Four Ancient Books of Wales, vol. i. p. 270. '' Gildas, Hist. c. 25. 

* Nennius, Hist. c. 42. ^ Nennius, c. 56. 

102 LEGENDAUV OUICHNS. liiooKiii. 

' The Descent of the Men of the North.' ^^ Here the Cyimy, 
who occupied the northern districts, are said to be the descend- 
ants of Coel Hen, or the aged, whose name is preserved in the 
central district of Ayrshire, now termed Kyle, and of his son, 
Ceneu. Their descendants appear to have consisted prin- 
cipally of three tribes. They are thus noticed : ' Three hundred 
swords of the tribe of Kynvarch, and three hundred shields of 
Kynwydyon, and three hundred spears of the tribe of Coel. 
Whatever object they entered into deeply, that never failed.' 
The leader of the tribe of Cynvarch, whose grandfather, CTorust 
Ledlwm, was either son of Coel or of his son Ceneu, was the 
celebrated Urien Eeged, whom Nennius mentions under the 
name of Urbgen as fighting against Eoderic, son of Ida, the 
founder of the Anglic kingdom of Bernicia, and known in the 
Welsh poems by the name of Flamddwyn or the Flamebearer. 
This tribe appears to have occupied the districts lying between 
the Northern Wall and the Forth, to which the names of 
Keged and of Mureif were applied. The second tribe was 
that of Kynwydyon, whose grandfather Garthwys was grand- 
son of Ceneu. The four sons of Kynwyt Kynwdyon are 
given as the leaders, two of whom are termed Clydrud Eiddyn 
and Cadrod Calchvynyd, from which we may infer that this 
tribe was located partly in the district extending from the Esk 
to the Avon, in which Duneyddyn or Edinburgh, and Caereid- 
dyn or Caredin, are situated, and partly in the district of 
which Calchvynyd or Kelso was the chief seat. The latter 
were probably the people afterwards termed the Tevidalenses. 
The rest of the descendants of Coel were grouped under the 
name of Coding, and extended from the Clyde to Loch Eyan, 
their principal territories being the districts of Carrawg, Coel, 
and Canawon, which, under the modern form of Carrick, Kyle, 
and Cuningham, form the county of x-\.yr. 

1" This document is printed with a translation in the The Four Ancient 
Boohs of Wales, vol. ii. p. 455. 


After thus noticing the three tribes under which the sup- 
posed descendants of Coel were ranged, the descent of the 
Men of the North proceeds to give the pedigrees of those said 
to be of Eoman descent. They are all deduced from Dyfnwal 
Hen, or the aged, who, in this document, is made the grand- 
son of Macsen Guledig, or Maximus the Eoman Emperor, but 
in the genealogies annexed to Nennius is said to be the 
grandson of Ceredig Guledig, whose ancestor Confer or Cynvor 
was the mythic father of Constantius, the father of the 
Emperor Constantine. These were obviously the Eomani of 
the poem, and can be mainly traced in connection with the 
central districts of Annandale, Clydesdale, and Tweeddale. 
The principal race included among them was that of the pro- 
vincial kings of Strathclyde, descended from Eydderch Hael, 
who is mentioned in Adamnan's Life of Saint Columha as 
reigning in Alclyde or Dumbarton, and whose history is 
so intimately connected with that of Kentigern, the great 
apostle of Strathclyde.^^ 

To the race of the Gwyddyl or Gaidheal the old Welsh 
traditions undoubtedly attach the Efichti or Picts, to whom 
they invariably give the name of Gwyddyl Ffichti.^- They 
occupied the small district extending from the Pentland or 

'1 See Four Ancient Books of termed Britliwyr and Peithwyr, 

Wales, vol. i. o. x., Cumbria, or tlie bvitalso Gwyddyl Ffichti ; thus the 

Men of the North, for a fuller ac- early Pictish inhabitants of Bernicia 

count of these traditionary origins. are thus alluded to — 

^- The modern Welsh antiquaries Five chiefs then will be 
in general regard the Picts as be- Of the Gwyddyl Ffichti, 
, . , .1 /-I ■ T Of a sinner's disposition, 
longmg to the Cymric race and of the race of the knife, 
speaking a Welsh dialect, but in pour Ancient Books of Wale^-, 
this they run counter to their own vol. i. p. 432. 
early traditions, for both in their And in one poem the epithet of 
old poems and in prose documents An;/hyjiaeth, that is, speaking a Ian- 
there is a cousensus as to their being guage diS'erent from the Cymric, is 
a foreign race to the Cymry, and be- clearly applied to them (ih. p. 43.S 
longing to the people termed by and note). Thus in the Triads of 
them Gwyddyl. Arthur, which are genuine, they are 

In the poems they are usually included in the three foreign races 



[book hi. 

Pictliuid Hills to the river Carroii, which was kuown to the 
Welsh as Manau Guotodin or Gododin, and to the Irish as 
the Plain of Manann, from whence they are said by Nennius 
to have driven out the sons of Cunedda, from whom the kings 
of North Wales were descended. They also possessed the 
larger district of Galloway, from the mouth of the Nith to 
the Irish Sea. This district takes its name from the term 
applied by the Welsh to its inhabitants, of Galwydel, from 
which the Latin form of Galwethia was formed ; ^'^ and we 
find the name of Scoti Picti, which is obviously a Latin 
rendering of the Welsh term Gwyddyl Ffichti, applied by the 
author of the Descriptio Albanice, who was certainly a Welsh- 
man, to the Picts, who, Bede tells us, formed the population 
of the western districts north of the Clyde, afterwards known 
by the name of Arregaithel, before the Scots formed their 
settlement of Dalriada there. 

For the legendary origins of the tribes of transmarine 
Scotland, or the districts north of the Forth and Clyde, we 
nmst, however, mainly look to Irish sources, and we find 
them pervading nearly the whole of the mythic history of 
Ireland, and cropping up here and there in the course of its 
artificial chronology. 

Alban, or Scotland, is first brought into connection with 
these legendary narratives of the primitive colonisation of 

called ' Three oppressions came into 
this island, and did not go out of it. ' 
The second is ' the oppression of the 
Gwyddyl Ffichti, and they did not 
again go out of it. ' The third was 
the oppression of the Saxons [ih., 
vol. ii. p. 465). In order to avoid 
the force of this, the term Gwyddyl 
Ffichti is usually translated Irish 
Picts, and supposed to refer to those 
in Ireland only ; but the epithet 
Gwyddyl was certainly used in the 
larger sense of the race wherever 

found, and it is clear from all the 
passages that the same people are 
referred to who are known as the 
Picts of Britain. If they had been 
termed Cymry Ffichti, would this 
school of Welsh antiquarians have 
tolerated an assertion that they 
were not of the Cymric race ? 

'^ Angles and Galwydel, 

Let them make their war. — 
Four Ancient Books of Wales, 
vol. i. p. 284. 


Erin, or Ireland, in the history of the second colony — that of The Neme- 

dians in 

the Nemedians, or sons of Neimead. After a great battle Scotland. 
with the sea-robbers termed the Fomoraigh, they were 
defeated, and none escaped save the crew of one ship, 
consisting of thirty men under three chiefs, Simon Breac, 
son of Starn, son of Neimead ; lobaath, son of Beothuigh, 
son of larbhanieoil, son of Neimead ; and Briotan Maol, son 
of Fergus Leithdearg, son of Neimead. They then resolve 
to leave Ireland, and taking seven years to prepare for this 
emigration, they fit out three fleets, under their three leaders. 
One fleet, under Simon Breac, goes to Thrace. A second, 
under lobaath, to the north of Europe ; and the third, under 
Briotan Maol, to Dobhar and lardobhar in the north of 
Alban, where they dwelt with their posterity. Now from 
this third colony the oldest legendary accounts bring two of 
the West Highland clans. These are the Clan O'Duibhn, or 
Campbells, and the Clan Leod, or MacLeods.^* The former 
clan first appear in the occupation of the central district of 
Dalriada encircling the lake of Lochaw, around which lay 
territories of the Dalriadic tribes of Lorn and Gabhran, and 
their oldest genealogies bring them from this Briotan, son of 
Fergus Leithdearg. The Clan Leod emerge, after the ter- 
mination of the Norwegian kingdom of the Isles, in posses- 
sion of Lewis, Harris, and the northern districts of Skye, 
and they are deduced from Laigh Laider, his brother, also 
a son of Fergus Leithdearg. 

After remaining in Greece two hundred and sixteen years, The Fir- 

1>olg and 

the followers of Simon Breac, the first of the three leaders of Tuath De 

. , Danan in 

the sons of Neimead, return to Ireland m three tribes — the Scotland. 
Firbolg, Fir Domnan, and Fir Gaileoin, under five brothers, 
who divide Ireland into five provinces. They are in their 
turn conquered by the Tuatha De Danan, the descendants of 

^'* Nemedius, inter posteros ejus ms. 1467. See also Uhter Archoeo- 
McCailin Moir agus MacLeoid. — logical Journal, vol. ix. p. 319. 


the second tribe of the Nemedians, who, alter remaining a 
long time in the north of Europe, where they possessed four 
cities — Falias, Gorias, Finias, and Murias — pass over into the 
north of Alban, where they remain seven years in the same 
districts of Dobhar and lardobhar, which had been colonised 
by Briotan Maol, bringing with them from Falias the Lia Fal, 
or celebrated Coronation Stone ; from Gorias, the sword used 
by their leader ; from Finias, his spear ; and from Murias, 
the mystic caldron of the Dagda. After remaining seven 
years in Alban, they go to Ireland and conquer the Firbolg 
in the great battle of Magh Tuireadh ; and the few Firbolg 
who escaped this battle fly to the Western Isles, and occupy 
Arran, Isla, Eachrain, and other islands, where they remained 
till they w^ere driven out by the Cruithnigh or Picts, and 
returned to Ireland, when they were received by Cairbre 
Madhfher, king of Leinster under the Milesian Scots. Then 
follows the legendary settlement of the Scots under the three 
.sons of Milesius, Heber, Heremon, and Ir, and their cousin 
Lughadh, son of Ith, before whom the mythic race of the 
Tuatha De Danan gave way. The transactions between them 
form one of the most picturesque of these Irish legends, the 
details of which need not be given here ;^^ but the Tuatha De 
Danan yield the plains of Erin to the Scots, retaining only 
the green mounds, known by the name of Sidh, and then 

^•' They will be found in Lady cally. There is nothing gained by 

Ferguson's excellent little work, it, as the form of the name has 

The Story of the Irish before the quite as barbarous an appearance 

Conquest, and in Mr. Standish as when the proper orthography is 

O'Grady's interesting work just retained, the identity of the persons 

published, The Hifitory of Ireland, meant is lost, it is misleading as 

vol. i. Heroic Period. The inter- there is no uniform pronunciation 

est of this latter work is, in the of these names by those who speak 

author's opinion, greatly detracted the vernacular Gaelic, and the tra- 

from by his having unfortunately vesty of the Irish names is equally 

adopted a practice, which cannot offensive to good taste and to sound 

be too strongly deprecated, of spell- judgment. In other respects this 

ing Irish proper names phoneti- little work has great merits. 


being made invisible by their enchantments, became the Fir 
Sidhe, or Fairies, of Ireland. 

With the mythic settlement of the Milesian Scots in Ire- Pictish 


land commence the legends of the settlements of the Cruith- 
nigh or Picts in Scotland ; and as Ireland was divided into 
iive provinces between five brothers, sons of the leader of 
Firbolg, and afterwards by the sons of Milesius, so we find in 
the legend an early division of Alban into seven provinces 
between the seven sons of Cruithne, the ' eponymus ' of the 
Pictish race. Five of these provinces can be identified. 
Fibh, the eldest of the seven brothers, represents Fife ; Fodla, 
the third, Athfhofla or Atholl ; Fortrenn, corresponds with 
the district between the Tay and the Forth, consisting of 
Stratherne and Menteath, and which, as at one time the seat 
of the monarchy, gave its name to the kingdom of the Picts ; 
Caith, with Caithness ; and Circinn, with that district which 
included Mafjhjhirgliinn, or the plains of Circinn, a name 
corrupted into Moerne or the jSIearns. The remaining two, 
Fidach and Ce, though the names cannot now be identified, 
obviously represent the intermediate districts of Eoss, Moray, 
Buchan, and Mar. Another form of the legend represents the 
Cruithnigh or Picts coming from Ireland in the time of the 
sons of Milesius, under Cruithnechan, son of Cinge, son of 
Lochit, to assist the Britons of Fortrenn to fight against the 
Saxons, and the Britons yielded their clans and their sword - 
land to them, that is, Cruithcntuath, and they took possession 
uf the land. The same legend assumes the form, in connection 
mth the Picts of Dalaradia in Ulster, from whence they came, 
of twice eighteen soldiers of the tribes of Thracia who accom- 
panied the sons of Milesius to Ireland, and cleared a swordland 
among tlie Britons, consisting first of Marjhfortrenn or the 
plains of Fortrenn, and then of llaghgldrghinn or the plains 
of Cirginn, or as another edition lias it of Cruithentuath}^ 
i« Chronicle of the Picts and Scots, pp. 24, 45, 318, .322. 

1^8 JJ:(;i;NI)AKY OKIGINS. [hook m. 

The Mile- In lIr! lon'r liiu; of invtliic pairaii iiioiiarclis spruntj from 

fiians in _ ^ i o i o 

Scotland, tln; .SOUS of Milcsius, two come prominently forward as 
waging war in Scotland, and hence termed kings of Erinn and 
Alban, and under the second of these a settlement is said to 
have l)een made. The first of these imaginary monarchs is 
Aengus, of the line of Heremon, termed Ollmucadh, from oil 
great, and mucaclh swine, because he is said to have possessed 
the largest swine in his time in Ireland. According to the 
Annals of the Four Masters he reigned in the year of the 
world 3773, or 1421 years before the birth of Christ. He is 
said to have fought fifty battles against the Cruithentuath, 
or Picts of Scotland, and the Firbolg ; twelve battles against 
the Longbardai, and four battles against the Colaisti, whoever 
they may be.^^ Tlie second was Reachtaidh Righdearg, or red- 
wristed, of the line of Heber, who is said in the same Annals 
to have reigned in the year of the world 4547, or 647 years 
before the birth of Christ. He led his forces to Alban under 
Fore and Iboth. ' They gained great battles, so that great 
districts were laid waste in Alban, until the men of Alban 
submitted to Reaclitaidh Righdearg, so that he was king of 
Erinn and Alban, and it was from them sprang the tw^o tribes 
Tuath Fore and Tuatli Iboth in Alban.' i^ 

These supposed settlements, however, become more fre- 
quent and distinct as we pass the birth of Christ and approach 
the historic period of this early Irish history. Between the 
Christian era and the fifth century, when Christianity was 
introduced into Ireland, and something like a true chrono- 
logical history may be said to commence, two events come 
prominently forward in this mythic history. The first is the 
rising of the Attachtuatha or servile class of the population 
of Ireland, and their massacre of the nobles of Ireland. These 
Attachtuatha are said to have been the remains of the Firbolg 

'" Annals of the Four Jf asters. i'* GeiiealachCorca Laidhe. — Mis- 

vol. i. p. 49. cdlany of the Celtic Society, p. 10. 


and other colonists who preceded the arrival of tlic Milesian 
Scots and formed a population of subject tribes under them, 
and they have been improperly identified by the Irish histo- 
rians with the Attacotti of the Roman historians, who were a 
British nation and belonged to a later period. The story as 
given in the Leabhar Gabhala, or Book of Conquests, is this. 
— On the death of Crimthan Nianair, king of Ireland, of the 
race of Heremon, about ten years after the birth of Christ, 
the nobility of Ireland were massacred at a great feast 
at Magh Cro, where they were entertained by the Attach- 
tnatha. They were all cut off except three queens who were 
pregnant, and went over the sea. One was Baine, daughter 
to the king of Alban, who gave birth to Feredach Finn Feeht- 
nach, the son of Crimthan. The second was Cruife, daughter 
to the king of Britain, and mother of Corb Olum of Munster ; 
and the third was Aine, daughter of the king of Saxony, who 
was mother of Tipraide Tireach, king of the Cruithnigh of 
Ulster. The Attachtuatlia then set up Cairpre Caitcheann, 
or cat-headed, one of their own race, as king, who reigned five 
years over Ireland. He was succeeded by his son Morann, who 
was a just and learned man, and he resolved to recall the three 
legitimate heirs. Feradach Finn Fechtnach was elected king, 
and the Attachtuatlia swore by heaven and earth, the sun, the 
moon, and all the elements, that they would be obedient to them 
and their descendants as long as the sea surrounded Ireland. 
Feradach was succeeded by Fiatach Finn, also of the line 
of Heremon, and he by Fiacha Finnfolaidh, son of Feradach, 
who, after a reign of seventeen years, was killed by the pro- 
vincial kings, at the instigation of the Attachtuatha, at the 
slaughter of Maghbolg. And again we have a repetition of 
the same story. The only person who escaped was his wife 
Ethne, daughter of the king of Alban, who was pregnant of 
his son Tuathal. Elim, son of Conra, king of the Cruithnigh 
of Ulster, who had on this occasion joined the Attachtuatha, 

110 LEOENDAUY OHIGINS. [hook iii. 

tlien became king, and after a reign of twenty years was 
slain in the battle of Aicliill by Tuathal, called Teachtmar or 
the acceptable, who came from Alban with a large force. 
Tuathal is said to have fought 133 battles against the Attach- 
f uatha, whom he reduced to obedience in the various pro- 
vinces. He altered the arrangement of the five provinces by 
uniting the two Munsters into one province, and formed a 
fifth province of Meath as mensal lands for the monarchy, by 
taking four portions from each of the other four provinces. 
Upon the portion taken from Munster he built Tlachtga, now 
called the Hill of Ward, and there the festival of the Fire of 
Tlachtga was held, and the Druids were wont to assemble 
On the portion taken from Connaught he established the chief 
seat at Uisneach, now Usnagh Hill, and there the great fair 
called the Convention of Uisneach was annually held in 
May. On the portion taken from Ulster he constructed 
Taillte, now Telltown, as the chief residence. It M'as here 
that alliances were made and contracts ratified, and the fair 
of Taillte was held. On the portion taken from Leinster the 
royal capital of Teamhar or Tara was established where the 
Feis Temrach was held every third year, the laws were 
ordained and published, and the Ardri or sovereign of Ireland 
was inaugurated. Tuathal is then said to have celebrated the 
Feis Temrach, at which the princes and chieftains of the 
kingdom assembled, who all swore by the sun and moon, and 
all the elements, visible and invisible, that they would never 
contest the sovereignty of Ireland with him or his race. Un- 
doubtedly this formation of the province of Meath, with its 
four royal residences, survived to historic times, and has an 
unquestionable historic basis. 

Another of its great landmarks is the contest which is 
supposed to have taken place in the second century between 
Conn Ced Cathach, or of the hundred battles, of the line of 
Heremon, and Eoghan ]\Ior, called Modha Nuadhat, of the 


line of Heber, and which led to a division of Ireland into two 
parts separated from each other by a ridge termed Eisgir 
Piiada, leading from Dublin across the island to Galway, 
composed of a line of gravel hills which existed long after. 
The northern half was termed Leth Cuinn or Conn's half, and 
tlie southern Leth Mogha or Mogha's half. This division is 
mentioned by the old chronicler Tighernac as having been 
made in the year 165,^^ and is undoubtedly recognised by 
Bede when he distinguishes the northern province of the 
Scots from the nations of the Scots who dwell in the southern 
parts of Ireland.^*^ Cormac, son of Art, and grandson of Conn, 
is said to have sent a fleet across Magh Rein, or the plain of 
the sea, in the year 240, so that it was on this occasion that 
he obtained the sovereignty of Alban.-^ He is said by Tigh- 
ernac to have obtained the name Ulfata, or ' the people of 
Ulster at a distance,' because he banished the Pictish tribes 
of Ulster to Manann and Innsigall in the year 254.^'^ 

These supposed settlements in Scotland during this mythic The race of 
period were, however, not entirely confined to the kings of Scotland, 
the lines of Heber and Heremon, sons of Milesius, but are also 
attributed to another line of kings descended from Lughaidli, 
son of Ith, who was father's brother of Milesius. We read in 
an ancient tract that ' these are the tribes of the Gael that 
are not of the sons of Miledh, nor of the Tuatlia De Danann, 
nor of the Firbolg, nor yet of the Clann Neimhead, and that 
widely did this tribe spread throughout Erin and Alban. For 
it is boasted that Maccon obtained sway over the world, and 
it is certain that he conquered the west of Europe, without 
doubt that is Alban and France and Saxon land and the island 

^^ Raiita oil AtlicUath cochele ittir -^ Annals of the Four Masters, 

Cond. c. Cathach agus Mogh Nuad- vol. i. p. 113. 

had cui nomen erat Eogan. — Ad — Indarha Ullad a h-Erend a 

an. 165. Manand la Cormac hui Cond. As 

'-" Bede, Ec. Hist., lib. iii. cap. de ha Cormac Ulfada dia ro ciiir 

iii. Ul. afadh. — Ad an. 254. 

llL' LKGKNDAKY ORIGINS. [book iii. 

of Britain. And it is boasted concerning Daire Sirchreach- 
tach that lie obtained sway over all the west of Europe ; and 
some of the learned say that he won the whole world. And 
it is stated that Fathadh Canann obtained the government of 
the whole world from the rising to the setting sun, and (if it 
be true) that he took hostages of the streams, the birds, and 
the languages.' -^ The first of these conquerors of the line of 
Ith, in point of time, was said to be this Daire Sirchreach- 
tach. He had six sons, all called Lughaidh. The eldest was 
Lushaidh Laidhe. Another was Lughaidh Mai, ' who won 
the world from Breatain Leatha or Armorica to Lochlanu or 
Scandinavia, and from Innsi Ore or the Orkneys to Spain,' 
The old tract called the Dinnseanchas, says of Carnn Mail 
in Ulster, ' Whence was it named ? It is not difficult to tell. 
It was otherwise called Carnn Luighdheach, from Lughaidh 
Mai, who was driven from Erinn with a fleet of seven ships ; 
and from Albau he set out for Erinn with the great fleet of 
Alban, and they give battle to the Ulster men and defeated 
them. Every man that came into battle with Lughaidh car- 
ried a stone, and thus the earn was formed, and it was on 
it Lughaidh was standing while the battle was fought ; ' and 
an old poem quoted in this tract says, 

Lughaidh Mai, who destroyed much, 

Was banished out of Erinn. 

With a fleet of seven ships the king's son sailed 

From Erinn to the land of Alban. 

He fought for the eastern country 

In battles, in conflicts, 

From Eadain to the wide-spreading Lochlann, 

From the islands of Ore to Spain. 

When he obtained the powerful kingdom, 

He brought with a numerous army, 

So that the harbours of Uladh were filled, 

With the barks of a fierce champion.^* 

^ Genealach Corca Laidhe. — Misc. Celtic Soc, pp. 4, 5. -^ lb. p. 67. 

cHA]'. Jii.J LEGENDARY OltlGINS. 113 

Lughaidh Laidhe, the eldest son of Daire Sirchreachtach, 
was also called Macniadh, or son of the champion, and had a 
son Lughaidh, called Maccon, or the son of the dog. He is 
said by the Four Masters to have reigned in Ireland from the 
year 1 96 to 225. His sons were said to be the three Fothadhs 
— Fothadh Airctheach, Fothadh Cairptheach, and Fothadh 
Canann. The first is said to have been king of Ireland for 
one year in 289, and to have slain his brother; and of the third, 
Fothadh Canann, we are told that he obtained the government 
of the whole world from the rising to the setting sun, and 
took hostages of the streams, the birds, and the languages, and 
that from him descended the tribe of Mac Cailin, or the 
Campbells, in Scotland.^^ These three brothers are by other 
books stated to be of the race of the Ui Eachadh of Uladli 
or Ulster, that is, of Pictisli descent. 

In the fourth century before Christ the three Collas play The race of 

Colla m 

a great part in the mythic history oi Ireland, and are like- Scotland, 
wise connected with a supposed settlement in Scotland. 
Cormac, the son of Aet, and grandson of Conn of the hun- 
dred battles, whom we have already adverted to, has a son, 
Cairbre Liffechair, so called from the river Liffey near which 
he was nursed, who likewise becomes Ardri of Erinu. He has 
two sons, Fiacha Sraibtaine and Eochaidh Doimlein. The 
former marries Aeifi, daughter of the king of the Gallgael, 
and was the father of Muredach Tirech, from whom the sub- 
sequent kings of Ireland of the race of Niall derived their 
descent. The latter marries Oilich, daughter of the king 
of Alban, called by some Vadoig, by others Uigari, and has 
three sons, Caerill, Muredach, and Aedh. These take the 
name of Colla, and are called respectively Colla Meaun, Colla 
da Crioch, and Colla Uais. These Collas slay their uncle 
Fiacha, and Colla Uais becomes king of Ireland, but is 
driven from thence with his brothers in 326 by Muredach 

^ Ibid. p. ."). 
VOL. in. H 

Ill LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book iii. 

Tirech, and takes refuge with liis paternal grandfather the 
king of Alban, from whom he receives Bimnnacht or military 
maintenance. Three hundred warriors were his host. After 
remaining three years in Alban the three brothers return to 
Erinn, each with a following of nine warriors, and having been 
reconciled with Muredach Tirecli, who tells them they ought 
to conquer some territory as an inheritance, they are joined 
by seven 'catha' or battalions of the Firbolg of Connaught, and 
with their assistance attack the king of Ulster, march to the 
Carn of Achadhleithderg, from whence they fought seven 
battles, one on each day of the week, and on the last slay the 
king of Ulster, plunder and burn his capital, of Emania, and 
acquire a large territory as their swordland, which was termed 
Oirgialla, and was possessed by their descendants. This is the 
story of the three Collas, and in this manner the great Pictish 
kingdom, of which Emania was the capital, was supposed to 
come to an end in the year 331, and the Cruithnigh of Ulster 
confined to the district of Dalaradia on the east coast of Ulster. 
From Colla Uais the Sennachies both of Erinn and Alban 
deduced the descent of Somerled, who became the Eegulus of 
Arregaidhel and of half of the Western Isles, and from whom 
sprang the potent clan of the MacDougalls, Lords of Lome, 
and the jSIacDonalds, Lords of the Isles.-*'' 
Tiie last The long line of mythic pagan kings of Ireland terminates 

kin^s o"^'^" with a group of three monarchs who succeeded each other, and 
Scofvmd" ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^'^ ^° 'h&.ve made extensive conquests beyond the 
bounds of their island kingdom. The first of these is Crim- 
than Mor mac Eidhaig, of the line of Heber, who reigned 
from 366 to 378, and is said to have extended his sway over 
Alban, Britain, and Gaul. Of him one of the oldest of the 
Irish documents, Cormac's Glossary, says, under the word 
Mugeime, ' that is the name of tlie first lapdog that was in 

^^ See Annals of the Fotir Masters, of Ireland. Tighernac under ,S22, 
under dates, and Keating's History 3"26, 3.32. 


Ireland. Cairbre Muse, sou of Conaire, brought it from the 
east from Britain, for when great was the power of the Gael 
on Britain, they divided Alban between them into districts, 
and each knew the residence of his friend, and not less did 
the Gael dwell on the east side of the sea, as in Scotia or 
Ireland, and their habitations and royal forts were built 
there. Hence is called Duin Tradui, or the triple-fossed fort 
of Crimthan Mor, son of Fidach, king of Erinn and Alban to 
the Ictian Sea."-'^ His successor was Niall Mor, or the great, 
who reigned from 378 to 405. He also extended his con- 
quests over Alban, Britain, and Gaul, and was slain at the 
mouth of the Loire on the shore of the Ictian Sea. He was 
termed Niall naoighialla, or 'of the nine hostages,' as he 
received hostages from nine nations which he had subjected 
to his rule. The last of these great conquerors was Dathi, 
who reigned from 405 to 428. He, too, extended his con- 
quests over Alban, Britain, and Gaul, and was killed by a 
flash of lightning at Sliahh Ealpa, or the foot of the Alps.-*^ 
He is said, in another document, to have been king of 
Erinn, Alban, Britain, and as far as the mountains of the Alps, 
where he went to revenge the death of his predecessor Niall, 
and was said by some to have been slain by the same arrow 
which killed the latter. His body was brought back to Erinn 
by his son, who gained nine battles by sea and ten by land 
by means of it, for when they exhibited the body they crushed 
their foes. Dathi is said to have fought many battles in 
Alban, viz., the battle of Magh Circain and the battle of 
Srath.2» A tale called 'The Expedition of Dathi to the Sliabh 
n-Ealpa ' gives the following account of his invasion of Scot- 
land : — 'He invites all the provincial kings and chiefs of Erinn 
to a great feast at Tara, and there decides upon making an 
expedition into Alban, Britain, and Gaul, following the foot- 

-'' Cormac's Glossary, edited for ^ Annals of the Four Masters. 

the Irish Arch. Society by Mr. '-" Tribes and Customs of Hy 

Whitley Stokes, p. 111. Fiarhrach, -p. 19. 

lin LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book iii. 

steps of liis predecessors Crinithan Mor and Niall. His fleet 
assembles at Oirear Caoin, probably Donaghadee, where he 
embarks with his troops and sets sail for Alban. Immedi- 
ately upon his landing Dathi sends his Druid to Feredach 
Finn, king of Alban, who was then at his palace of ' Tuirrin 
brighe na Itigh,' calling on him for submission and tribute, or 
an immediate reason to the contrary on the field of battle. 
The king of Alban refused either submission or tribute, and 
accepted the challenge of battle, but required a few days to 
prepare for so unexpected an event. The time for battle at 
last arrived ; both armies marched on Magh an Chairthe (the 
plain of the pillar stone) in Glenfeadha, Dathi at the head of 
his Gael, and Feredach leading a large force composed of 
Scots, Picts, Britons, Gauls, Northmen, and Gallgaidheal. A 
fierce and destructive tight ensued between the two parties, in 
which the forces of Alban were at length overthrown and 
routed with great slaughter. When the king of Alban saw 
the death of his son and the discomfiture of his army, he 
threw himself headlong on the ranks of his enemies, dealing 
death and destruction around him, but in the height of his 
fury he was laid hold of by Conall Gulban, a son of Niall 
naoighialla, who, taking him up in his arms, hurled him 
against the pillar stone and dashed out his brains. The scene 
of this battle has ever since been called Gort an ChairtM (the 
field of the pillar stone), and the Glen Glenn an Chatha or 
the battle glen. ' Dathi set up a surviving son of the late 
king on the throne of Alban, and receiving hostages and sub- 
mission from him, passed onwards into Britain and Gaul, in 
both of which countries he still received hostages and sub- 
missions wherever he proceeded on his march,'-"'' 

Another of the legendary settlements in Alban is connected 
with the same Feredach Finn, king of the Cruithnigh of 
Alban, and may be placed about the same time. The story 

•'^ From the Book of Leinster. The substance is given in O'Curry's 
Lectures on the MS. Materials, p. 287. 


is this : — ' Daol, the daughter of Fiachra, king of Musgiy, was 
the wife of Lughaidh, son of Oillill Flaimbeg, king of Munster. 
She became enamoured of her stepson Core, son of Lughaidh 
by a former wife, and on his refusal follows the example of 
Potiphar's wife with Joseph, when Core is banished by his 
father. He goes to Feredach, king of Alban, from whom he 
received great honours and his daughter in marriage, by whom 
he had two sons, Cairbre Cruithnecan and Maine Leamhna. 
The mother's name was Leamhan Mongfionn, and these sons 
were settledin their mother's patrimony. Cuirbre Cruithnecan 
fixed on Maghghirghmn, or the plain of Circinn, and from him 
descended ^ngus Eamhan, king of Alban. Maine fixed on 
Maghleamhna, or the plain of Leamhan, and from him are 
the Luinmigh Albaiii or people of the Levenach or Lennox. 
The river Leamhan or Leven took its name from Leandian, 
daughter of Feredach Finn, who was drowned in it, and an old 
poem has been preserved by Muredach Albanach, several of 
whose compositions have been preserved in the Book of the 
Dean of Lismore, and who appears to have lived between 
1180 and 1220.^^ It was written in the time of Aluin og, 
Mormaer of Leamhain, or Lord of Lennox, who, there can be 
little doubt, was the same person with Alwyn, first Earl of 
Lennox, who was his contemporary. It is addressed to the 
river Leamhan or Leven, and refers to the same legend. The 
poem is so curious that it may be given at length. 
Muredach Albanach sang thus : — 

Noble thy spouse, Leamhan ! 
Ahm oge, the son of Muireadhach, 
His waving hair without blackness, 
Descendant of Lughaidh of Liathnihuine. 

Good thy luck in white-skinned spouses, 
Since the time thou didst love thy first spouse, 
For the son of the king of Bealach it was ordained 
That Leamhain should be his spouse. 

^1 Dean of Lismore's Book, p. 157. 


Gearr-Abhann was thy naiiie of old, 
In the reign of the kings, 
Until Core of Munster eanie over the sea 
With waving hair above his eyes. 

When came Fearadhach Fionn, 

Son of the king of Alban of the Carpets of Gold, 

When he made with Core alliance. 

Upon coming into his lordship 

Fearadhach gave — to me it seems well — 
His daughter to fair-haired Core. 
Full of his renown is Tara of Meath, 
Leamhain was the name of the daughter. 

A (|ueenly birth brought forth Leamhan, 
Maine, son of Core of the long hair. 
She cherished in her bosom the bird 
For Core of Cashel of the hounds. 

One day that Leamluiiu was 
(The mother of Maine of the slender fingers) 
With fifty maidens of white soles, 
Swimming in the river's mouth, 

She is drowned in the l)osoin of the port. 
Leamhain, the daughter of Fearadhach, 
Thou art named Leamhain after that, 
A remembrance not bad. to be related. 

Seldom was the tramp of a Gall battalion 
Upon thy green borders, river ! 
Oftener with thee, Leamhain ! 
The son of a hind above thy Innbhears. 

There has grown up to thee Alun oge. 
Son of Mureadhach of the smooth roads, 
Splendid the colour of his pure fresh hands, 
A scion of the wood of the first Aluin. 

Not alone drinking ale 

Is Alun oge, descendant of Oilleall. 

The branch of the race of Alun sits 

With an hundred to drink from the same gallon. 


Though there should be but one tun of wine 
To the race of Core of the comely kings, 
Not hajjpy the fair-headed son of Core 
Should he save the wine from death. 

The Mormaer of Leamhan of the smooth cheek, 
The worthy son of Ailin's daughter, 
His white hand, his side, his foot ; 
Noble is thy spouse, O Leamhan ! ^^ 

Such, then, being the record of these supposed conquests 
of Alban and settlements in the country presented to us in 
the early history of Ireland, their general effect upon the 
Gaelic population of Scotland is thus given in another ancient 
document preserved to us by the Sennachie McFirbis : — 

' The Clan DomnaU, Clann Ragnall, Clann Alasdair, Clann Tsithig 
(Sheehy), Clann Eachan, Clann Eadhain, Clann Dubhghal, and Clann 
Ragnall mic DomnaU Ghlais, are of the race of Eremon. 

' MacGille-Eoiu or MacGille a Ea-in (MacLean), the two MacLeods 
(Harris and Lewis), MacConnigh (Mackenzie), Mac a Toisigh (Macintosh), 
Murmor Hundon (Mormaer of Moray /), are of the race of Conaire. 

' Murmor Abhaill (Mormaer of AthoU), Murmor Mair (Mormaer of 
Mar), Murmor Gall (Mormaer of Galloway), MacCenedig (Kennedys), 
Muirgeach og, Lord of (jranta (Grants), MacCregan (MacGregor ?), are 
also of the race of Eremon.' ^3 

The first group here given evidently belongs to the sup- 
posed settlement by Colla Uais of the race of Heremon, and 
consists of the great clans of theMacDonaldsandMacDougalls, 
and their branches, descended from Somerled, the great Lord 
of Argyll, whose traditionary pedigree is deduced from Colla. 
The second as certainly comprises those supposed to be de- 
scended from the six sons of Ere, whose pedigree is deduced 
from Conaire, a king of Ireland;'^* but among them are included 

•^■^ This poem is preserved in Mc- McFirbis, who was a senuachaidhe 

Firbis' Book of Oenecdogies, p. 410, well acquainted in Alban and much 

where the prose tales will also be frequented it.' He lived about 15G0. 
found. The original of the poem is 

printed in the Appendix No. vi. '-'-^ Fergus iilius Eric ipse fuit pri- 

■^■' McFirbis, in his Genealogical mus qui de semine Chonare suscepit 

MS., says — 'This account I found regnum Alban. — Chron. Picts and 

among tlie Books of Fardorough ScoU, p. 130. 

120 LEGENDARY OlilGINS. [book nr. 

the MacLeods, whose legendary origin, as we have seen, belongs 
to an older race. The third, said to be also descended from 
the race of Eremon, seems to be composed of those who cindd 
not be included in either of the two former groups, and like- 
wise presents inconsistencies. The Mormaers of Athol were 
of the royal family, and afterwards Stewarts, and under the 
title of the Mormaer of Mair, and of Muirgeach og, by whom 
the earls of Lennox descended from Aluin og, son of IMuredach, 
seem meant the race deduced from Core, king of Munster, 
who was of the line of Heber, are here included among the 
descendants of the line of Heremoii. 

The turning-point in the chronology of the early history 
of Ireland may with some reason be fixed at the battle of 
Ocha, which was fought in the year 478, and placed the first 
Christian monarch on the throne of Ireland. It obviously 
separates the artificially-constructed history of the pagan 
period which makes so large a demand upon the assent of the 
historian from that succession of events which corresponds 
with all the historic dates we possess, and commends itself 
readily enough to our belief. AVith the change produced by 
that event all that is fantastic, improbable, and artificial 
ceases, and the incidents recorded are more natural and in 
better accordance with what w^e should expect to find. In 
the oldest records of Irish history it appears as a great era 
from which the dates of its events were reckoned, and is con- 
nected as such with another settlement of Scots in Alban. 
We are told by the synchronist Flann INIainistrech that 
twenty years elapsed from the battle of Ocha till the 
children of Ere, son of Echach Muinremhair, passed over 
into Alban, viz., the six sons of Ere, the two Auguses, the 
two Loams, and the two Ferguses.^^ 

The question then at once arises. To what extent have 
these legends a historic basis, and how far may we accept 
35 Chron. Picts and Scots, p. IS. 


them as true elements in the history of the population (jf 
Scotland ? 

This question we may at once answer in so far as regards 
the last settlement in the series which we have extracted from 
that history. The passing over of the sons of Ere into Alban 
twenty years after the battle of Ocha is undoubtedly a true 
event. It was the foundation of the small Scottish kingdom 
of Dalriada on the west coast north of the Firth of Clyde by 
a colony of Scots, which took place in the year 498, and the 
death of its first king, Fergus mor mac Erce, is recorded by 
Tighernac in the year 501. The annals of this little kingdom 
may now be considered as well ascertained. But can we 
attribute the same certainty to the conquests supposed to have 
been made prior to the battle of Ocha? These present several 
features calculated to lead us to a different conclusion. On 
looking over the entire succession of those supposed conquests 
and settlements in Alban, we can hardly fail to recognise the 
same legends repeated at different times and cropping up in 
different forms. Thus the supposed conquests of the race of 
Lughadh, son of Ith, who were a different race from the 
Milesian Scots, and the settlement of Fothadh Canann, from 
which sprang the Clann Mhic Cailin or Campbells, seems 
merely a repetition of the much older settlement of the sons 
of Neimhead in the districts of Dobhar and lardobhar in 
Alban, who were likewise a different race from the Milesian 
Scots, and from whom also sprang the Clann Mhic Cailin or 
Campbells; and when the Fothadhs appear not as of the race 
of Ith but as of the race of the Ui Eachach of Ulster, that 
is, Irial Glunmhar, son of Conall Cearnach, who had two 
sons. Fore and Iboth, they become Cruithnigh, and their 
settlement the same as that of the two tribes Tuath Fore and 
Tuath Iboth ; and this again connects them with the supposed 
conquest by the mythic king Eechtgidh Eighdearg, who in 
another document appears as Fothadh Eighdearg. In the 

IL'-J MlOKNDAltY OKKJINS. [book ui. 

name Fore we can recognise the old name of the river Forth, 
wliich again connects them with the district between the 
Tay and the Forth, wliich appears to have been intended by 
the Dobhar and lardobhar ; but this is the same district 
which was called by the Picts Fortrenn, and to which, accord- 
ing to the Pictish legend, Cruithnechan, the son of Lochit, son 
of Cinge, came with his Picts to help the Britons of Fortrenn, 
and superseded them there ; and this again corresponds with 
the statement that the descendants of Braodn, son of Fergus 
Leithdearg, who had occupied Dobhar and lardobhar with his 
Nemedians, were driven out by the Cruithnigli. And when 
we are told that Cruithnechan settled his Picts in ]\Iagh 
Fortrenn and Maghghirghinn, we surely have the same legend 
repeated in the supposed settlement of the sons of Core, king 
of Munster, when Cairpre Cruithnechan and Maine Leamhna 
settle in Maghghirghinn and Maghleamhna. We can see that 
under these legends there simply lies an attempt to express 
in these stories the popular conception of the ethnic relations 
of local tribes. While in these tales the true localities which 
form the scene of them are veiled under fictitious names 
which it is difhcult to identify, there are others where the 
apparent distinctness and accuracy with which the localities 
are given cast an air of verisimilitude over the narrative, and 
lead to the supposition that there must have been some 
hititoric foundation for them ; but in these cases it will gener- 
ally be found that they are real historic events, which belong 
to the historic period, but have been transported to the 
imaginary realm of mythic narrative by some process arising 
from some fancied resemblance in the names of the actors. 
Tlie most striking instance of this is in the tale of the con- 
quests in Alban by the Dathi, the second last of the pagan 
monarchs of Ireland. The scene is laid in Maghghirghinn, but 
this name we know is the original form of the name corrupted 
into Mearns, and belongs to a district now represented by 


Kincardineshire, but which formerly appears to liave inchided 
part of Forfarshire south of it and Mar on the north. Here 
he fought the battles of Srath and Maghghirghinn, and the 
other names mentioned in the story can also be identified. 

Tuirrin, the palace of the Pictish king Feredach Finn, is 
no doubt the liill of Turin in the parish of Eescobie in For- 
farshire, about 600 feet high, on the top of which, according 
to the writer in the old Statistical Account, ' there has evi- 
dently been anciently a stronghold or place of defence, con- 
sisting of various extensive contiguous buildings, with a 
circular citadel of about forty yards in diameter. The situa- 
tion has been well chosen, being secured by an impregnable 
rock in front, much like the face of Salisbury Crags, and of 
difficult access all around. It is now called Kemp or Camp 
Castle.' ^6 Glenfeadha finds its modern representative in 
Fithie in the adjoining parish of Farnell, where too we find 
Gort an Chairthe corrupted into Carcary. This battle seems, 
however, to have been an historic event, and to have really 
taken place in the eighth century, for the old chronicler 
Tighernac records, in the year 752, the battle of Strath, in 
the land of Circinn or Maghghirghinn, between the Pictones, 
in which Bruidhi, son of Maelchon, was slain.^'' There, 
by an anachronism which it is difficult to explain, the well- 
known Bruidhe mac Maelchon, who died 200 years l)efore, 
takes the place of Feredach Finn. This battle really took 
place in the reign of the great Pictish king Angus, son of 
Fergus ; but we find in 763, eleven years after this battle was 
fought, the Pictish throne occupied by Cinadon, son of Fere- 
dach, and, at the same time, the prince who ruled over Dal- 
riada, after its conquest by the Pictish monarch, is Muredach 
ua Dathi, or grandson of Dathi. The same battle appears a 
century later in Hector Boece's fictitious narrative, where the 

•'*' Stat. Ace. (1791-99), vol. xiv. inter Pictones invicem in quo ceci- 
p. (302. dit Bruidhi mac Mailchon.— y^^^. 

•'•'■ Cath a sreith in terra Circin Chron. Picfs and Scots, p. 7G. 

124 LEGENDARY orJCINS. |bo(.k iii. 

Scots under their king Alpin deieat and slay on the same 
spot Feredach, king of the Picts. 

AVhen we see these Irish mouarchs, however, not only 
conquering Alban and making settlements there, but extend- 
ing their conquests over Britain and Gaul, and carrying their 
arms even to the foot of the Alps, it is difficult to avoid the 
suspicion that we have here localised as Irish kings some of 
the Eoman emperors connected with the Eoman province in 
Britain, and some of their acts transferred to Ireland, and 
that this is the true source of many of these fabulous 
events, so far as there is any foundation for them at all. 
Thus we find a parallel to the revolt of the Attachtuatha, 
or servile tribes of Ireland, against the Milesian kings, which 
was finally suppressed by Tuathal Teachtmhar, in the insur- 
rection of the serf population of Gaul, called the Bagaudte in 
the reign of the emperor Diocletian, which was suppressed by 
his colleague Herculius Maximian. Cairbre Cinncait, who 
was enabled to seize the throne of Ireland as their leader, and 
reigned five years, has his counterpart in Carausius, who, by 
the help of these Bagaudte, revolted against Maximian, and 
ruled for seven years in Britain as an independent emperor. 
Conn of the hundred battles, under whom Ireland became 
divided into two provinces, may be a shadow of Constantine 
the Great, in whose time the provinces of Britain were divided ; 
and in Niall of the Nine Hostages, and Dathi the fighter of so 
many battles, who carried their arms to the foot of the Alps, 
we may possibly recognise Theodosius and Maximus, the 
emperors who preceded the termination of the Eoman power 
in Britain, and fought battles in North Britain. 

The Conquests in Alban under Crimthau Mor mac Fid- 
haigh, and his designation as king of Erinn and Alban, have 
perhaps a historic foundation of a different kind. The first 
really historical appearance of the Scots in Britain is in the 
year 360, when, in conjunction with the Picts, they attacked 


the Eoman province in Britain. The attack was repeated by 
the Scots and Picts, who were now joined by the Attacotti 
and Saxons in 364, and they ravaged the whole province till 
the year 369, when they were driven back by Theodosius, 
and the province restored. Now the Annals of the Four 
Masters place the commencement of Crimthan's reign in 366, 
and he reigned twelve years. The period of his supposed 
conquests in North Britain synchronises with the appearance 
of the Scots in Britain, as recorded by the Eoman historian. 
So also the subsequent conquests under Niall Mor and Dathi, 
and the supposed settlement of the Munster Scots under Core, 
king of Munster, with the three devastations of the province 
by the Picts and Scots recorded by Gildas, the first two of 
which were repelled by the Roman general Stilicho, and the 
last by the provincial Britons themselves. The period of 
these attacks extended from the year 360 to 409, but it is 
quite clear, from the concurrent testimony of all the authori- 
ties which record them, that the Scots were driven back to 
Ireland, and that they effected no permanent settlement in 
Britain till the end of the sixth century, when the Dalriadic 
colony was established in the southern part of the great 
western district of Arregaithel or Argyll. 

We have then, prior to that date, merely temporary con- Eariy 
quests ni the province ot Britain, commencing m 360, which between 
afford the sole historic basis to these supposed settlements, and and 
there is no reason to suppose that prior to 360 a single Scotever 
set foot in North Britain. The connection between the two 
countries of Scotland and Ireland was, notwithstanding, a very 
intimate one. It is quite clear that prior to the settlement of 
the Scots in Dalriada,the great nation of the Cruithnigh or Picts 
formed the sole inhabitants of Britain north of the Firths of 
Forth and Clyde ; but while we find them during the historic 
period likewise in possession of that part of the province of 
Ulster known as Dalnaraidhe or Dalaradia,and Uladh, extend- 

1 2(; LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book hi. 

iug from the Boyne along its eastern shore to the border of Irish 
Dalriada, and likewise of that part of Meath termed Magh- 
breg or Bregia, yet these early legends present them to us 
as forming the original inliabitants of the north of Ireland, 
and as constitnting one great nation peopling the northern 
districts of Britain and Galloway on the east side of the 
Channel, and the whole province of Ulster and part of Meath 
on the western, while the Scots occnpied the rest of Leinster 
and the whole of Connaught and Munster. The Cruithnigh 
of both countries were thus substantially one people, and re- 
mained so till the beginning of the seventh century, and 
during this time there nmst have been a constant intercom- 
munication between the tribes on both sides of the Channel, 
as well as a community of early legends among them. Thus 
the Pictish Chronicle tells us that thirty kings of the name of 
Bruide ruled over Hibernia and Albania during a period of 
150 years, and the Irish Nennius derives the statement from 
the books of the Cruithnigh, while an early legend of the 
Picts of Dalnaraidhe states that ' thirtvkin^s of the Cruithnio-h 
ruled over Erin and Alban, viz., of the Cruithnigh of Alban 
and of Erin, viz., of the Dalnaraidhe from Ollamhan, from 
whence comes Mur Ollamhan at Teamhair or Tara to Fiacha 
mac Baedan, who fettered the hostages of Erin and Alban.' 
This latter event was in the historic time, and must have 
occurred between 589 and 626, when Fiacha mac Baedan was 
king of Ulster. From this period may therefore be dated the 
political separation of the Picts of Alban from those of Erin, 
who had hitherto been governed as one nation. The same 
legend likewise informs us that ' seven kings of the Cruith- 
nigh of Alban governed Erinn in Teamhair or Tara. Ollanih 
was the name of the first king that governed Erinn at Tea- 
mhair and in Cruachan thirty years. It is from him Mur 
Ollamhan at Teamhair is ; by him was the feast of Teamhair 
first instituted.' Then, after naming his six successors, the 


legend adds, ' These tlien are the seven kinos that ruled over 
Erin of the Cruithnigh of Alban.' ^^ These seven kings, how- 
ever, appear in the list of the mythic pagan kings of Ireland, 
and are placed as such by the Annals of tlie Four Masters as 
far back as from the year of the world 3883 to 4019, that is, 
from the year 1317 to 1181 before Christ, each of the seven 
kings reigning exactly thirty years. The first was Ollandi 
Fodla, who is, of course, said to be of the race of Ir, and to 
him is attributed the tribal organisation of his people ; for 
according to the Annals of the Four Masters, ' it was he also 
that appointed a Toisech over every Triocha Ceud or barony, 
and a Bruighigh over every Baile or township, who were all 
to serve the king of Erin.' Under the name of Fodla he 
appears in the Pictish Chronicle as one of the seven sons of 
Cruithne, and two of his succesors, viz., Gede Ollgudach and 
Finnachta, appear in the list of the Pictish kings of Scotland 
among his immediate successors, and precede the thirty kings 
of the name of Brude. The numbers peculiar to the Pictish 
legends are seven, and thirty, and have, of course, no chrono- 
logical significance. 

But the most brilliant period of the mythic history of these 
Cruithnigh of Ulster was that when the champions of the 
Order of the lied Branch at Eamhain or Eniania were sup- 
posed to have performed their great achievements. They are 
placed in the fabulous history about the commencement of 
the Christian era, and here we find abundant indications of 
the close connection between the Cruithnigh of Erin and of 
Alban. Among these ancient Irish tales are three which are 
termed the Three Sorrowful Stories of Erin, namely the story 
of the tragical fate of the children of Lir, the story of the 
children of Uisneach, and the story of the sons of Tuirinn.-'^ 

■^^ Chron. of the Picts and Scots, of the children of Uisneach, from 

pp. 320 and 526. which the (quotations are here made, 

"•' O'Curry, J]IS. Materials of An- will be found in the Transactions of 

cientlrisli History,]}. 319. The story the Gaelic Society of Dublin. 


From the second of these tales we learn that about this 
time Cathbad, a Druid of the Picts of Ulster, has three 
(laugliters. The eldest, Dectcum, was the mother of the 
celebrated champion Cuchullin ; the second, Albe, was the 
mother of Naisi, Ainle, and Ardan, the three sons of Uisneach ; 
and the third, Finncaemh, was the mother of Conall Cearnach. 
These champions were all trained in a military school at 
Sgathaig in tlie island of Skye, kept by Aife and her father 
Scathaidh, and by Aife Cuchullin had a son, Connlaoch, whose 
liistory forms one of the Fenian tales. The place called 
.Sgathaig can be still identified. On the west side of the 
parish of Slate in Skye, on an isolated rock overhanging the 
arm of the sea termed Loch Eishart, are the remains of an 
(Ad castle now termed Dunscaich ; and below it, at a little 
distance from the shore, is a small island on which is still to 
be seen one of those ancient vitrified forts which are so closely 
connected with these Fenian tales. It is likewise called 
Dunsgathaig or Dunscaich, and was no doubt the site of 
Aife's supposed school. Looking across this arm of the sea, 
the magnificent and most picturesque range of the Coolins 
form the principal feature in the landscape, and hence the 
three sons of Uisneach, supposed to have been trained to the 
use of arms here, are termed in the tale ' The Three Falcons 
of Sleibhe Cuillinn,' that is,of the Coolin liills, now improperly 
termed Cuchullin hills. ■**^ On their return to Ulster, Naisi, 
the eldest, falls in love with a fair girl Deirdri, who had 
been reared in a tower by Conchubhar, king of Ulster, with 
the view of making her his wife. Naisi carries her off, and, 

■" Tlie old Gaelic names of the writers of these books seem to have 

leading physical features of the invented an orthography of their 

Highlands have been so perverted own, which they suppose to repre- 

by the numerous guide-books to sent Gaelic words, but are neither 

which the attraction of the country one thing nor another. One of their 

to tourists has given rise, that the most successful inventions is that 

older forms well known some thirty of the Cuchullin hills in Skye. 
years ago are almost gone. The 


accompanied by his two brothers and one hundred and fifty- 
warriors, goes to Alban, where they settled in a wild therein, 
and obtained maintenance of quarterage, that is, an appanage 
or land of maintenance to be held for service from the king 
of that country. The sons of Uisneach are said in the tale to 
have defended by the might of their hands a district and a 
half of Alban,andare called 'the Three Dragons of Dunmonadh,' 
which seems to have been the residence of the kings, as it 
afterwards was of the Scottish kings of Dalriada, and may be 
identified as the isolated hill in the Crinan Moss on the 
banks of the river Add, the top of which bears the remains of 
a strong fortification, and which was also called Dunadd. In 
another poem Naisi is said to have visited the daughter of 
the Lord of Duntreoin on his return from the north of Inver- 
nois or Inverness, and this is Duntroon, an old castle on the 
north side of Loch Crinan. 

The place where the sons of Uisneach settled, and where 
they obtained their land of maintenance, was on the north 
shore of the arm of the sea called Loch Etive, where their 
seat was no other than that remarkable vitrified fort crowning 
the summit of a considerable hill on the shore of the bay of 
Ardrauchnish, now called Dun mac Sniochan, a corruption of 
the name Dun mhic Uisncachan, and to which Hector Boece 
gave the fanciful name of Beregonium. Here they are said 
to have had three booths of chase — one in which they prepared 
their food, one in which they ate it, and one in which they 
slept. Conchubhar now resolves to tempt them to return to 
Ulster, with the treacherous purpose of killing them and 
taking Deirdre, but is told that they will not come unless 
either Cuchullin, or Conall Cearnach, or Fergus, son of Eoigh, 
another of the champions of the Eed Branch, will go for them 
and ensure their safety. Cuchullin and Conall Cearnach both 
refuse, but Fergus agrees to go, finds them at Loch-n-Eitc or 
Loch Etive, and at the Dainghion mhic n-Uisnech or fastness 
VOL. m. I 

130 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book in. 

of the sons of Uisneach, and persuades them to return, much 
against the wish of Deirdre, who expresses her regret at leaving 
that eastern land with its delightful harbours and bays, its 
dear beauteous plains of soft verdure, and its sprightly green- 
sided hills, and then utters a beautiful lament on leaving that 
' beloved land, that eastern land, Alban with its wonders.'*^ 
Deirdre tells Fergus that the sway of the sons of Uisneach in 
Alban is greater than that of Conchubhar in Erin, and her 
lament bears this out, for the scenery of it embraces the 
whole of the eastern part of Argyllshire from the Linnhe Loch 
to Loch Long, and among the places mentioned we can 
identify Glen Etive at the head of Loch Etive, Inistrynich in 
Loch Awe, Dun Suibhne or Castle Swen in Knapdale, 
Glenlaidhe, or Glenlochy, and Glenurchy at the east end of 
Loch Awe, Glenmasan and Glendaruel in Cowall.^' Alban 
now drops out of the tale, and it is unnecessary for our 
purpose to follow further the tragical fate of the sons of 
Uisneach after their return to Ulster. We find, however, 
that Conall Cearnach, another of these heroes of the Cruith- 
nigh of Ulster, has left his traces in the same part of the 
country, for Dean Munro, in his description of the Western 
Isles in 1549, tells us of Dunchonill, one of the group of the 
Garveloch Isles which lie off the coast of Lome — ' Dunchonill, 
ane iyle so namit from Conal Kernache, ane strength, which 
is alsmeikle as to say in Englische, ane round castle.' One of 
the legends of the Cruithnigh of Ulster tells us that Conall 
Cearnach married Loncetna, the daughter of Echdhe Each- 
beoil of Alban, who was a Cruithnigh, by whom he had 
Irial Glinmar, and adds, ' This was the cause which brought 
Cuchulain and Curoi son of Daire from Alban to Erin.'*^ 
The mother of Curoi, we learn from other legends, was Moran 

'*'• A translation from the oldest *- lb. , p. Ixxxviii. note, 
copy of it will be found in the in- 
troduction to the Dean of Lismore's '^^ Chronicles of the Pids and 
Book, p. Ixxxvii. Scots, p. 319. 


Mannanach, the sister of Loncetna. A curious notice of the 
Pictish king Echdhe Eachbeoil and the intimate connection 
between the Cruithnigh on both sides of the Irish Channel 
has been preserved to us in the very ancient document called 
Cormac's Glossary, where, under the word ' Fir, i.e. find ' or 
white, we are told — ' This, then, was the appearance of the 
cows of Echaid Echbel from Alban which Curoi captured, 
that is, white cows with red ears ; ' and another MS. adds — 
' These cows, then, of Echaid Echbel used to come to graze 
from Ard-Echdai Echbeil, from Alban into the district of 
Dalriatta, and they used to be in Seimne Ulad. Curoi, 
however, carried them off by force from the Ulad or Ulster 
men.' ** 

We thus see how completely the idea of a close connection, 
amounting to identity both of race and nation, between the 
Pictish inhabitants of North Britain and the Cruithnigh of 
Ireland, runs through these popular tales, and expresses a 
true state of matters which goes far to explain the supposed 
conquests and settlements under the Irish kings of the mythic 
and heroic period in Scotland. Although attributed to kings 
of the different races into which the descendants of Milesius 
were supposed to be divided, we can see that there is always 
a tendency to connect them with the Cruithnigh of Ulster. 
Thus the Fothadhs are by one account of the race of Ith,and 
by another Cruithnigh of Ulster. When we read of the sons 
of Nemhead settling in Dobhar and lardobhar in North 
Britain, under Braodn the son of Fergus Leithderg, we are 
reminded at once of the historic king of the Picts, Brude, son 
of Urgust or Fergus. When we are told that the Tuatha De 
Danaan proceeded from the same district and bestowed upon 
Ireland the three designations of Eire, Fodla, and Banba, from 
the names of the three queens of their three last kings, we 
cannot avoid noticing that these three names are likewise 

** Cormac's Glossary, edited by Mr. Whitley Stokes, p. 72. 

132 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book iii. 

preserved in Scotland in the river Earn ; ^^ in Fodla, one of 
the seven districts named after the seven sons of Cruithnigh, 
and which is preserved in Athfotla, the old name of Atholl ; 
and in Banff. We see too that whenever a Scot is said 
dnring this mythic period to have settled in Alban he is 
usually said to be the son of the daughter of a Pictish king, 
and to have inherited through his mother. Thus Colla Uais, 
of the race of Eremon, has a Pictish mother, and so have the 
two sons of Core, king of Munster ; and there is reason to 
suppose that among the Pictish tribes marriage was exogamous 
and that the son of a Pictish mother even by a stranger was 
held to belong to the tribe of his mother. Other points of a 
connection between these Irish legends and those of Scotland 
also suggest themselves. In the story of the insurrection of the 
Attachtuatha, or servile tribes of Ireland, against the Milesian 
Scots, we are told that the nobility of the latter were cut off 
at a great banquet given by the Attachtuatha, and that none 
escaped except three nobles who were in their mothers' womb. 
This same legend is reproduced in the legendary history of 
Scotland, when the supposed destruction of the Picts by the 
Scots in the ninth century is said to have been effected in the 
same manner, the nobles of the Picts ha\dng been cut off by 
the Scots at a great banquet.^*^ 
The two- The twofold division of the Scots, supposed to have taken 

siou of the place in the reign of Conn of the hundred battles, has also its 
the estab- parallelism in Scotland ; and if Bede recognised the division 
of'scone as ^^ Ireland into the two jDrovinces of the Northern and the 
orthe^'*^'^^ Southern Scots, he equally viewed the territory occupied by 
kingdom, h^q great Pictish nation as consisting of the two provinces of 
the Northern and the Southern Picts, who were separated 
from each other ' by steep and rugged mountain chains, within 

^5 The form of this uame as we laud. — See Chron. Picts and Scots, 
tind it in St. Berchan's prophecy is pp. 84, 88, and 98. 
identical with that of Erin or Ire- '*'' Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 165. 


which the latter had seats,' a descriptiou which can only 
apply to the great chain of the Mounth, extending from the 
Eastern Sea to the Western Sea, and separating the counties 
of Aberdeen and Inverness from those of Kincardine, Forfar, 
and Perth ; and to those minor chains proceeding from it on 
the south, which, as they terminate in the more level country, 
form the great barrier of the so-called Grampians. Towards 
the end of the great Pictish kingdom we find Scone appearing 
as the principal seat and central point of the monarchy, and 
Fordun gives as one tradition 'that it had been anciently fixed 
as the principal seat of the kingdom by both the Pictish and 
Scottish kings ;' and as another ' that the ancient kings, even 
from the time of Cruithne, the first king of the Picts, had 
made it the seat of the kingdom of Alban.''*'^ Scone is situ- 
ated on the left bank of the river Tay, and within the ancient 
district of Gouerin or Gowry, and the circumstances connected 
with this district, and with Scone as the ancient capital of 
Scotland, present features very analogous to those recorded in 
the legend by which the province of Meath was formed, and 
Teamhair or Tara constituted the chief seat of the monarchy. 
As Meath was situated where the four ancient provinces of 
Ulster, Connaught, Munster, and Leinster meet, so also Gowry 
is placed in a central position where the four ancient provinces 
of Alban — namely those of Stratherne and Menteath, of 
Atholl (to which it appears at one time to have been attached), 
of Angus and Mearns, and of Fife and Fothreve — touch each 
other. As the originally small district of Meath was enlarged 
into a province by adding four districts, each of which was 
taken from one of the other districts, so we find that there 
were four royal manors of Gowry, viz. those of Scone, Cubert, 
Forgrund, and Straderdel.^^ These too surround a small 

^^ Fordun's Chronicle, ed. 1874, ' in principale sede regni nostri fun- 

vol. i. pp. 227, 430. data,' in which he conveys to them 

^ There is a charter by Malcolm the titles ' de quatuor maneriis meis 

the Fourth to the canons of Scone, de Gouerin scilicet de Scon, et de 

134 LEGENDARY ORIGINS. [book in. 

central district, and eacli lies contiguous to one of the four 
provinces. Scone, forming the western district of Govvry, is 
separated by the river Tay from the old province of Fortrenn; 
Cubert or Coupar- Angus, on the north-east, adjoins Angus or 
Forfarshire ; Forgrund, now Longforgan, on the south-east, is 
separated by the Tay from a parish in Fife bearing the same 
name ; and Stratherdel or Strathardle, on the north, lies 
within the barrier of the Grampians, and stretches along the 
eastern boundary of Atholl. As Meath was the old mensal 
land set apart for the support of the Crown, so we find 
Gowry too appears to have been a Crown demesne ; and as 
Teamhair or Tara was not only the place where the Ardri 
or sovereign of Ireland was inaugurated, and the laws of the 
kingdom framed and published, but was so completely re- 
garded as the central point of the monarchy that the kingdom 
was often termed the Kingdom of Tara, so we find the ancient 
kings of Alban inaugurated and the laws of the kingdom 
promulgated at Scone ; and when Kenneth, the first of the 
Scottish line, overthrew the Pictish dynasty, he is said in 
the oldest chronicler who records the event to have acquired 
' the kingdom of Scone.' ^^ 

Cubert et de Fergrund et de Strath- ■*■' Chron. Picts and Scots, pp. 9 

erdel. ' — Chr. of Scone, p. 6. and 21. 




The population of Scotland in the reign of Alexander the Mixed 
Third was, as we have seen, of a very mixed character. The ofScUiand. 
southern frontier of the kingdom had by this time been 
advanced to the Solway and the Cheviots, while the annexa- 
tion of the Isles in his reign had extended its western 
boundary to its utmost limits. Over the whole of this 
extended territory the name of Scotland, originally limited to 
the country north of the Forth and Clyde, had now spread, 
and we find the area of this extended kingdom occupied by a 
population consisting of three different races. These were, in 
the mountainous region of the north and west, the Gael or 
Highlanders, the descendants of the Northern Picts of pure 
Gaelic race, and of the Gaelic Scots who had settled among 
them. The more fertile and level plains forming the eastern 
seaboard, extending from the Moray Firth to the Cheviots, 
had originally been possessed by the Southern Picts, a mixed 
race partly of Gael and partly of Britons, but the Angles of 
Northumberland had by degrees colonised the whole of it. 
On the west the Britons of Strathclyde had extended from 
the Clyde to the Solway, but had likewise given way to the 
Anglic colonisation ; while Galloway west of the Nith was 
still occupied by a Gaelic people, who had encroached upon 
the British territory by occupying the district of Carrick in 
the south, the Northern Gael having likewise encroached on 
its northern frontier by spreading over the district of Lennox. 


Somcesof The actual population of Scotland liad thus consisted of 


tionasto three races — the two Celtic peoples of the Gael and the 

tliGir c'lrl V 

social state. Bry tlion or Britons, and the Teutonic people of the Angles. 
To these races had been added by King David the First and 
his successors the Norman barons, who were overlords of a 
great part of the territory of the kingdom, while a Norwegian 
population may to some extent have still lingered in the 
Western Isles. In endeavouring to ascertain the early social 
organisation of these three races, besides the few hints which 
historical documents afford, we have the advantage of an 
ancient code of laws of each race. For the Angles we have 
the Anglo-Saxon laws, and for the Britons the early laws and 
institutions of Wales, both published by the Eecord Com- 
mission.i For the Gael we have the ancient laws of Ireland, 
commonly called the Brehon Laws, now in course of publica- 
tion;- and besides these there has been preserved a small 
code in Scotland termed the Laws of the Picts and Scots, 
and some fragments of ancient law retained in the hands of 
the different kings of the race of David i.^ 

Tribal or- It is with the Celtic races alone that we have to do in 

of the 
Gaelic race. 

of the this work, and principally with those of Gaelic race, who 

alone preserved a separate and independent existence in 
Scotland ; and an examination of all those documents which 
tend to throw light upon the early social organisation of the 
Gaelic as well as of the Cymric race leads us to the conclusion 
that it was not territorial or purely patriarchal, but was based 
on the community or tribe. Among the people of Gaelic race 
the original social unit appears to have been the Tuath, a 
name originally applied to the tribe, but which came to 

' Ancient Laws and Institutes '^ Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. \., 

of England, edited by Benjamin vol. ii., vol. iii. 
Thorpe, 1840. 

Ancient Laics and Institutes of ^ See Acts of the Parliaments of 

Wales, edited by Aneurin Owen, Scotland, edited by Cosmo Innes, 

1841. vol. i. 


signify also the territory occupied by the tribe community ; * 
but when we endeavour to ascertain the original constitution 
of the Tuath or tribe of the Gaelic race, we are met by a diffi- 
culty analogous to that which we have to encounter in 
investigating the history of their language. ' The formation 
of the mother tongue belongs to the prehistoric period, and it 
is a process which, carried on in the infancy and growth of 
the social state, is concealed from observation. When its 
possessors first emerge into view and take their place among 
the history of nations, counter-influences have already been 
at work, their language has already entered upon its downward 
course, and we can only watch it in its process of decomposi- 
tion and alteration, and reach its primitive condition through 
the medium of its dialects.' ^ So it is with the tribe. We 
nowhere see it in its primitive form. When it first emerges 
in the historic period it has already entered upon a course 
of modification and change. Various influences have been 
at work, both internal, arising from the natural progress of 
society, and external, produced from the contact of foreign 
organisations, to alter existing forms and introduce new 
elements, and thus it undergoes a process of change 
which leads it further and further from its primitive con- 

Two leading features of this process can, however, without influences 
difficulty be detected, and may be assumed as tolerably certain, the tribe. 
These are, first, that private property in land did not exist at 
first, but emerged from a right of common property vested in 
the community. Personal jDroperty or individual property in 
moveables must at all times have existed, but real property 
or individual property in the soil is of much later origin, and 

■* Sir Henry Maine, in his Early Tuath or tribe preceded the Fine 

History of Institutions, considers or clan. 

that the unit was the Fine or sept, ^ See the author's Introduction 

several of which united to form a to the Dean of Lismore's Book, pp. 

tribe ; but it will be shown that the xvii. and xviii. 


is an excrescence upon the common use or property of the 
land occupied by the tribe, and is inconsistent witli its ori- 
ginal constitution. The second feature is, that the social unit 
was not the individual or the family but the community or 
tribe. The original bond of union between the members of 
the tribe was no doubt the belief in a common origin, a 
common descent from the eponymus, whether mythic or his- 
toric, from whom it took its name ; but in the early period to 
which we must refer the pure primitive tribe, when the sanc- 
tions of marriage were unknown, and a loose relation between 
the sexes existed, which is faintly shadowed forth in a few 
scattered notices by the Roman authors of this relation among 
the Celtic inhabitants of Britain and Ireland, descent through 
the females rather than the males must have been viewed as 
the more certain link ; and it is probable that here as elsewhere 
female succession preceded a representation through males, 
and that the sons belonged to the tribe of their mothers.*^ 
Vffed of The early state of the tribe, however, soon became modified 

ductiou of not only by internal changes but also by external influences. 
anUy/ Of these external influences not the least powerful, and pro- 
bably the first in order, was the introduction of Christianity 
and the adaptation of the Christian Church to the tribal 
system. The tribe was thus brought into contact with a 
higher civilisation and a purer code of morals. The lax rela- 
tions between the sexes, which still survived, must have been 
checked and controlled, the sanction of marriage enforced, 
by which the father is placed in his legitimate position as 
head of the family, and the rights of the children were 
clearly defined, and the older connection of the members of 
the tribe through females reduced in some cases to an occa- 
sional right of succession through the mother, while in 
others it entirely disappeared. 

^ The legendary history of Ireland contains traces of the higher posi- 
tion of the female. 


The oldest tenure by which land was held was that by the Land 
tribe in common. When the tribes passed from the hunting iTeid^n ^ 
and nomad state to the pastoral, and became possessed of ^°™™°°" 
large herds of cattle, it was a natural consequence that each 
tribe should appropriate a special territory for their better 
management. The whole of the regulation of these ancient 
laws is evidently based upon the fact that cattle formed the 
principal property of the original tribes ; and long after indi- 
vidual property in land had become an essential element in 
the constitution of the tribe, cattle still formed the standard 
of value by which everything was estimated. That a right 
of individual property in the cattle existed at a very early 
period seems very evident, but the land on which they were 
pastured was the common property of the tribe, and, after the 
cultivation of land began, the arable land was annually divided 
into lots, to one of which each member of the tribe had a 
right. The special district occupied by the tribe would thus 
consist of pasture land held by the tribe in common, on which 
each member had a right to pasture the cattle which belonged 
to him ; arable land divided into lots which were annually or 
at certain periods assigned to him ; and unoccupied and waste 
land remaining as the common property of the tribe. 

These rights belonged, however, to the proper members of Distinction 

,. . , , of ranks in 

the tribe only, who were as such on an equality with each the tribe, 
other ; but there soon came, from other external influences, 
to be a distinction between those dwelling within the bounds 
of the Tiiath of Saor or free, and Daor or unfree. The free- 
men of the tribe were alone recognised as possessing rights 
derived from the original constitution of the tribe. The 
origin of the class of the unfree is thus stated in connection 
with the legendary history of Ireland : — ' The first race of 
them were the remnant of the Firbolg themselves, together 
with the remnant of the Tuath De Danaan,' the legendary 
people who preceded the Milesian Scots. ' The second race, 


the people who passed from their own countries, they being 
descended from Saor chlann (or free tribes), who went under 
Daor-chios (servile rent) to another tribe. The third people 
were the race of the Sao7' chlann, whose land was converted 
into Fearann-cJdaidhimh (sword-land or conquered country) 
in their own territory, and who remained in it in bondage 
under the power of their enemies. The fourth race were 
people of Saor chlann who passed into bondage for tlieir evil 
deeds, and who lost their blood and their land through their 
evil deeds, according to the law. The fifth people were those 
who came from stranger soldiers, i.e. from external mercen- 
aries who left property in Erin. The sixth race were the 
people who were descended from the bondmen who came 
with the Milesians into Erin,' that is, who and their fore- 
fathers had always been bondsmen.'' 
The 7?i Besides this great distinction between the free and the 

or king. 

unfree, the free members of the tribe contained within them- 
selves one distinction which must have always existed 
among them, and the germs of others which became gradually 
more prominent as the operation of the causes which led to 
them more and more influenced the constitution of the tribe. 
That combination which produced the tribe must from the 
beginning have had leaders and other necessary office-bearers ; 
some one among them must have had supreme authority as 
judge in time of peace, and the tribe must have had a com- 
petent leader in time of war. Such functionaries were neces- 
sary as bonds of union; without them the tribe could not 
have been kept together in anything like social union ; and as 
the tie which bound the free members of the tribe together 
was the belief in a common origin — a common descent from a 
mythic cponymus from whom the tribe took its name — so the 
Bi or king, who was at the head of the tribe, held that position 
not merely by election but as the representative in the senior 
^ The Book of Bights, printed by the Celtic Society, p. 174. 


line of the common ancestor, and had a hereditary claim to 
their obedience. As the supreme authority and judge of the 
tribe he was the Bi or king. This was his primary function. 
Thus we are told that ' it is lawful for a king to have a judge 
though he himself is a judgc.'^ As the leader in war he was 
the Toiscch or Captain, and bore the one or the other title as 
either function became most prominent, while in some cases 
these functions might be separated and held by different 
functionaries. Although the Pd or king derived his authority 
from his claim to be the senior representative of the common 
ancestor, the office was still, from the necessity of being filled 
by a properly qualified person, to a certain extent elective. 
It was hereditary in a certain family, but elective among the 
members of that family ; and an additional safeguard against 
the tribe being left without a proper head was provided by 
another member of the family being elected Tanaist or suc- 
cessor to the Bi or king in the event of his death. That the 
hereditary character of this office existed from primitive times 
is apparent from this, that a somewhat similar law of succes- 
sion prevailed in the early Irish Church, the abbot or head of 
the monastery being chosen from a particular family ; and 
while the influence of the Church may have confirmed, if it did 
not establish, a strict descent in the male line in the tribe,^ a 
hereditary succession in the Church must have been derived 
from the close connection which had been formed between 
the Church and the tribe, and from the influence of the tribe 
upon the Church and not of the Church upon the tribe. 
While the whole of the land was still the common property of 
the tribe, the Bi or king had no separate possession of land, 
but in this respect was on an equality with the free members 
of the tribe, and entitled only to the same right of pasturage 
for his cattle on the pasture land and to the share of the 

* Brehon Laivs, vol. iv. p. 341. this respect is recognised in the 

^ The iniluence of the Church in Welsh laws. 



[book III. 

of ranks 
from pos- 
session of 

arable land annually allotted to him ; but in addition to this 
he was maintained in the dignity of his office at the expense 
of the tribe, and this right of maintenance, according as the 
tribe and its wealth increased, assumed various forms, one of 
which may have arisen from the influence of the Church, and 
given the first impulse to something like separate possession 
of land. When the Church was established in connection 
with a tribe, a grant of part of the tribe land and its separa- 
tion from the rest became a necessity for the maintenance 
of the Church, and thus those Termon lands which form so 
marked a feature in the territorial position of the Irish Church, 
came into existence. Analogous to this, one form which this 
right of maintenance on the part of the Bi or king assumed 
was, that a portion of land was likewise separated from the 
common land of the tribe as mensal land for the support of 
the dignity of the Bi or king for the time being. 

Another cause must also of necessity have produced 
distinction of position between the free members of the tribe. 
Such an equality as may be held to have existed originally 
among the members of the tribe can hardly have been pre- 
served unless there was also an equality in their personal 
characteristics and their wealth in cattle. The natural 
operation of differences of character and wealth was to create 
distinctive classes among them. Those of superior abilities 
soon take the lead of others, and those whose prudence and 
sagacity enabled them to increase their possession of cattle 
must soon have occupied a more important position in the 
tribe, as their share of the annual allotment of land was regu- 
lated by the size of their herd. Thus there came to be recog- 
nised in the tribe a gradation of ranks founded upon the pos- 
session of personal wealth and importance. The lowest grade 
in the tribe was the Fer Miclba or inferior man, of whom 
there were two classes. As soon as a member of the tribe 
reached the age of fourteen he was emancipated from the con- 


trol of his parents and acquired certain rights, but was not 
vested with his full privileges till the encircling of the beard, 
that is, till he became twenty years old, when he was entitled 
to a separate residence {Sain trebhta) and a share of the tribe 
land (Sealbh). Above the Fer Midba was the Boaire or 
Cowlord, whose superior wealth in cattle, with the exclusive 
possession of a homestead, gave him a kind of nobility over 
the tribe's man. Of the Boaire class there were six grades. 
The lowest rank, to which the title of Aire was given, was the 
Ogaire or young lord who had ' newly taken householdship 
upon him.' His property was reckoned by the number seven. 
He had seven cows with their bull, seven pigs with a boar, 
seven sheep, and a horse for work and riding. He possessed 
a house but no land in property. The laud required for the 
support of seven cows was termed a Cow-land, and he left 
one cow at the end of the year in payment for it. He had 
the fourth part of a plough, and therefore his possession with 
the arable land attached to it formed probably the fourth part 
of a ploughgate, or thirty acres, equivalent to the husband- 
land in Scotland. The next higher grade was the tenant 
resident (Aithech ar athreba). He represented a small com- 
munity of four or five, occupying jointly as much land and 
possessing in common as much stock as would entitle a 
single person to be a Boaire. He had ten cows, ten pigs, ten 
sheep, but, like the Ogaire, the fourth part of ploughing 
apparatus, Avhich is here defined to be an ox or ploughshare, 
a goad, and a bridle. He was so named as occupying a part 
only of as much land as would entitle him to be called a 
Boaire along with others, the joint possession being sufficient 
for the purpose. Above him was the Boaire fehhsa, so called 
' because it is from cows his rank as an Aire and his honor 
price are derived.' He had land of the value of twice seven 
Cumlials, or forty-two cows. He had a house with a back 
house or kitchen, a share in a mill, a kiln, a barn, a sheep- 

144 THE TUATII OK TRir.E IN IRKLANP. [book in. 

liouse, a call'-liouse, and a pigstye. These are the seven houses 
from which each Boairc was rated, and formed the complete 
Rath or homestead. It was surrounded by a precinct or 
Maigne, which was a space as far as the Boaire could cast a 
spear with an iron head, or hammer, sitting at the door of his 
house, and was inviolable. The whole was usually enclosed 
by a ditch and earthen rampart. And he possessed twelve 
cows and half a plough. Land of the value of three times 
seven Cumhals or sixty-three cows, and the possession of 
twenty cows, two bulls, six bullocks, twenty hogs, twenty 
sheep, four house-fed hogs, two sows, and a riding-horse, 
made him a Bruighfcr, and entailed upon him the burden 
of ' receiving the king, bishop, poet, or judge from off the 
road,' as well as all travellers. And here too the court of 
judgment was held for the tribe and the assembly of the 
tribe's men. When the Boaire possessed so large an amount 
of stock as to be obliged to give off some to others he 
becomes a Fcrfotlila, and ' the excess of his cattle which his 
own land cannot sustain, which he cannot sell for land, and 
which he does not himself require, he gives as the propor- 
tionate stock of tenants ' (Ceile). The highest grade of the 
Boairc was the Airc-coismng , who represented the people 
before the king and the synod. 
Origin anil The Superior position in which the Boaire was placed 
private towards the other members of the tribe, his more extensive 
aud^crea- stock, and the exclusive possession of his homestead, must 
orcier of" have naturally led to a desire to retain the same land in his 
chki^"^^ family, instead of being subjected to annual change ; and the 
larger his possession the more easily he would obtain this, 
which was an inevitable step to the introduction of rights of 
private property in the land of the tribe. When the same 
family had retained possession of land for three generations 
it came at length to constitute a right of property, and thus a 
class of territorial lords was created whose position as Aires 


was based upon property in land. This right of property and 
all the privileges connected with it was termed Deis, and they 
formed a superior class of territorial magnates, who were 
termed Flaith or chieftains, and constituted an order termed 
the Grad Flaith, in contradistinction to the Grad Feine or 
inferior order. 

In the division of these respective orders, if not in the 
actual introduction of an individual right of property in land, 
we can again trace the influence of the Christian Church. In 
one of the tracts forming the collection of laws termed the 
Brehon, but not one of the most ancient, the following account 
of these divisions is given : — ' How many divisions are there 
of these ? — Seven. What is the division of the grades of a 
Tuath derived from ? — From the similitude of ecclesiastical 
orders, for it is proper that for every order which is in the 
Church there should be a corresponding one in the Tuath.' 
But this number of seven is purely arbitrary, for we are 
told that the grades of the Tuath consist of the ' Fer Midba, 
the Boaire, the Aire desa, the Aire ard, the Aire tuise, the 
Aire forgaill, and the Ei or king. If it be according to the 
right of the Feinechus law, it is in such manner these seven 
grades are divided.' But then follows — ' What is the division 
if it be not the Boaire with his eight divisions ? ' that is, if 
the ' Grad Feine,' or inferior order consisting of eight divi- 
sions, is excluded ; and the answer is — ' The Aire desa, the 
Aire echta, the Aire ard, the Aire tuise, the Aire forgaill, the 
Tanaist of the Ei or king, and the Ei or king.' Here the 
number of seven is made up by adding to the Grad Flaith 
an Aire echta and the Tanaist.^*' 

As these ranks of the Grad Flaith possessed an increasing The Ceiie 

1 • T 1 T 1 . . or tenants 

amount of stock beyond what their own land could maintain, of a chief. 
one great characteristic of the order Avas their possessing 

'" This account of the ranks in the tribe is taken from the Grithgabli- 
larli Brehon Laivs, vol. iv. p. 299. 

VOL. in. K 


tenants or Ccilc, that is, persons of the inferior order to whom 
they gave their surplus stock in return for a food-rent, services, 
and homage ; the gift being termed Taurcreic and the food- 
rent Bcsa. And as tlie territorial lords appropriated more 
and more land of the tribe as individual property, it is obvious 
that the land remaining for division among the freemen of 
the tribe must have been proportionately diminished, while 
the natural increase of the population must have increased 
the evil. An ancient tract tells us that ' numerous were the 
human beings in Ireland at that time (a.d. 658-694), and such 
was their number that they used not to get but thrice nine 
ridges for each man in Ireland, viz., nine of bog, and nine of 
smooth or arable, and nine of wood ; ' and we read in the 
Lcbor na huidre that * there was not ditch nor fence nor stone 
wall round land till came the period of the sons of Aed Slane 
(the same period), but smooth fields. Because of the abun- 
dance of the households in their period, therefore it is that 
they introduced boundaries in Ireland.' ^^ Thus, as the land 
and the wealth in cattle of these Flaith or territorial lords 
increased, the freemen of the tribe who were still independent 
became poorer, and their lots diminished, and by degrees they 
began voluntarily to place themselves under these lords by ac- 
cepting stock from them, in return for which they became their 
dependants. Where tlie Flath contributed merely an addition 
to the stock of the freeman who already possessed some, he 
became his Sacr Ceile or free tenant, and had to return the 
value of a third of the stock annually for seven years ; and 
besides this the tenant might be called upon to give certain 
services termed Manchamc, such as assisting in building a 
fort, reaping the harvest, or going on hostings, and had to pay 
a food-rent for his house, termed Bestigi, likewise did homage 
on paying his rent, termed Urcirgc. Where the Flath fur- 
nished the entire stock for the tenant he had to give security 

" Quoted in Sir H. S. Elaine's Early Hidory of Inditutions, p. 114. 


for its return, and became his Dacr Ccile or Bond-tenant, and 
liad to pay a food tribute termed Biathad twice a year.^^ 

The Aire desa had ten such tenants, five bond and five 
free. He is described as ' the son of an Aire and the grandson 
of an Aire, with the proj)erty of his house.' The Aire echta 
seems to have ranked with the Ai7r^ desa. The Aire ard had 
twenty tenants or Cede, ten bond and ten free. The Aire 
tuise, so called ' because his race has precedence, and he takes 
precedence of the Aire ard' had twenty-seven tenants or Ceile, 
fifteen bond and twelve free ; and the Aire forgaill or highest 
rank has forty tenants or Ceile, twenty bond and twenty free. 
Besides these Cede or tenants, so constituted by voluntary 
contracts between the freemen and the Flath or chief, he had 
likewise Bothach or Cottiers and Fuidhir, strangers, or broken 
men from other tribes, whom he settled upon his waste land 
in return for homage and service, and these, if they had re- 
mained nine times nine years on the land, became what were 
called Sencleithe or old standers.^''^ 

This account of how the constitution of the tribe became 
modified and altered by the effect of internal change and 
external influence pretends to be nothing more than a specu- 
lative view of it, but we have now reached that stage in its 
progress when it fairly enough represents the tribe in the 
form in which we find it in the ancient Irish laws ; but as 
these laws with their commentaries belong to different periods, 
some branches of them being obviously more modern than 
others, this must be borne in mind in endeavouring to extract 
a view of the organisation of the tribe from them. 

The territory belonging to a tribe is now termed Taath, state of the 
the tribe itself Ciniol, as implying a race of men sprung from territory of 
a common ancestor. The land of the tribe is now found in '^ 
three different positions. There was first that part of the 
original territory of the tribe which still remained the Feacht 
'^ Ibid. vol. ii. p. 34.5. i- Ibid. iv. p. .321. 


Fintie or common property of the tribe, and consisted of the 
common pasture lands, on which each freeman of the tribe 
had a riglit to pasture his cattle, and of the common tillage 
lands annually divided among those freemen who possessed 
cattle, a possession which entitled them to the usufruct of a 
share of the arable land and to a habitation in each township. 
The cattle each person had were termed his Cro, a name also 
applied to the enclosure in which they were housed, and the 
entire cattle of the tribe were termed their Creaght. Then, 
secondly, there was the official or mensal land set apart for the 
maintenance of the Pa or Toisech, the Tanist, and the other 
functionaries of the tribe, as the Bard, the Brehon or judge, 
the Sennachy or historian, etc. ; and along with this land may 
be classed the Church land or Termon land given to the 
Church free of all imposition, which land was held to form a 
sanctuary. Lastly, there was the land held by individual 
ownership. This land was the Orha or inheritance land, 
which belonged to the Flaitli or chiefs, and which was 
transmissible to their successors. The principal part of this 
land was retained by the chief in demesne, and on it he had 
settled the strangers called Fuidhir who consisted of two 
classes. Free and Bond, and formed a body of retainers- 
entirely under his control ; and here too were the Bothach or 
Cottiers, and those who by length of residence had become 
Sencleithc. The land not retained by himself was given off' 
to freemen of the tribe to whom he had given stock either 
by Saer or by Daer stock tenure, and who thus became his 
Ceile or tenants. 
The Dun The stroughold of the tribe was the Dun or fort, which 

the Bi alone had a right to occupy, and of which each king 
was bound to have at least three. The description given of 
it is as follows : — ' Seven score feet are the dimensions of the 
Dun every way ; seven feet the thickness of the mound at 
top ; twelve feet at bottom. Then only is he king, when 

or fort. 


he is encircled by the moat of servitude. Twelve feet is the 
breadth of its mouth and of its bottom, and its length is the 
same as the Dun. Thirty feet is its length on the outside.' ^^ 
The average number of fighting men which a tribe turned out 
on ordinary occasions appears to have been 700.^^ The posses- 
sions of the Church within the territory of the tribe varied in 
extent from half a Ballyloe or ploughgate, till in some cases 
the Dun itself and the possessions of the king or chief were 
granted to found a monastery, and in those cases where the 
monastery was said to have consisted of 3000 monks, the 
tribe itself appears to have merged in the Church. There 
came to be a lay and a clerical 'progenies, and the head of the 
tribe appears to have been chosen alternately from the tribe 
of the land and the tribe of the patron saint.^^ The free 
and bond Ccile then became free and bond Manachs, their 
position being substantially the same. 

Such being the aspect in which the tribe is presented to The Mor- 
us m the ancient laws oi Ireland, it must not be assumed 
that these tribes, thus possessing a complete organisation in 
themselves, were at tliis period independent of each other. 
From even a much earlier period they seem to have been 
united in a constitutional framework, by which they formed 
a kind of federal nation. Several of these Tuaths were 
grouped together to form a still larger tribe, termed a Mor- 
tuath or great tribe, over wlioiu one of the kings presided as 
Ri Mortuath. The normal number forming a Mortuath is in 
one place stated as three, and in another seven. 

Then several of these Mortuath formed a province, called The Cu,i- 

cidh or 

in Irish Cuicidh, or a fifth. The name is interpreted as province, 
implying that the Mortuath thus united were five in number, 
but the usual explanation is more probable, that as there 
were five provinces in Ireland — Meath, Leinster, Munster, 
Connaught, and Ulster — it means that each was the fifth part 

" Maine, vol. iv. p. 3.37. ^'^ Ihid. iv. p. 331. '" Ihid. iv. p. 373. 


of Treland. Over each province was the Pd Cuicidh, or 
provincial king, and then over the whole was the Ardri, 
or sovereign of all Ireland. 
The law of The succession to these several grades of Iti or king was 
' ' ■ ■ the same as that of the Ri Tnath, and was regulated by the 
law of Tanistry, that is, hereditary in the family but elective 
in the individual, the senior of the family being usually pre- 
ferred ; but as, when the king was chosen, the Tanist would 
naturally be selected from the next most powerful branch of 
the family, it fell at length into an alternate succession be- 
tween the two most powerful branches. This becomes at once 
apparent when we examine the actual succession of these kings 
as recorded in the Annals. The sovereignty over the whole of 
Ireland fell for several centuries into one branch of the great 
family called the Northern Hy Neill, and the throne was 
filled alternately from two branches of it. The succession of 
the kings of Munster shows the same peculiarity of an alter- 
nate succession between the descendants of two sons of the 
mythic founder of that kingdom, and furnished the illustration 
upon which a Dissertation on the Law of Tanistry, attributed 
to General Vallancey, but really written by Doctor John 
O'Brien, Bishop of Cloyne, was founded. The province of 
Ulster, where an ancient Pictish population was encroached 
upon and gradually superseded by Scottish tribes, exhibits the 
remarkable peculiarity of an alternate succession of the kings 
of Ulster between a family descended from its old Pictish 
kings and one of the earliest colonies of Scots, that of the 
Dcdfiatacli, who settled among them.^^ 
Connection The tie whicli bound these groups together, and united 
superiors the chain which connected the Ardri with the Ri Tucdh, was 
pendants, the Same which linked the latter with his dependent chiefs, 
and those with their Ccilc. The dependence of one upon 

^" See Collectanea de Eebus Hihernicis, vol. i., No. iii., and Appendix 
to the Battle of Magh-alh. 


another possessed tlie invariable feature of a gift or subsidy 
from the superior to the inferior, and corresponding duties 
from the inferior to the superior. In one of the law tracts the 
gift from the superior appears as Taurcreic, or proportionate 
stock, and the return as Bestighi, or food-rent of the house, 
and ranges from a Taurcreic of five Seds, and a Bcstigld of a 
wether, with its accompaniments, consisting of cakes, milk, 
and butter, as the lowest for the Fermidha to a Taurcreic of 
fifteen Cumhals, or forty-five cows, and a Bestighi of eight 
cows for the Bi Tuath}^ We derive the fullest information 
on this subject from the ancient tract termed the Book of 
Eights. We there see the gift or Tuarastach, as it is there 
called, made by the Ardri to the different provincial kings, 
by them to the kings of the respective Mortuath, and by the 
latter to the Bi Tuath ; while the corresponding returns made 
by the inferior to the superior king consisted first of a small 
fixed rent, which in one case consisted of a Sgreahall, or three- 
pence, from each Baile or township,^'-* and a tribute termed 
Cohhach, which included, in the case of Munster, a submission 
paid in cattle, termed Smacht, and a Biathad or refection : 
and each king was entitled to a maintenance when going 
beyond his own territory, called Coimiim, corrupted into 
Coigny ; and besides these, service in war was due from each 
inferior tribe to the superior, distinguished into FcacM or 
expedition, and Sluaged or hosting. The number of fighting 
men each Tuath had to provide was 700, and each Mortuatlc 
three companies, or 2100 men. 

Another feature of the ancient tribal system in Ireland, The system 

. . , of fines. 

presented to us in the Brehon Laws, must not be overlooked, 
and that is the system of fines, in which respect it closely 
resembled not only similar regulations in the Welsh Laws 
but likewise in those of the Anglo-Saxons. In that early 

^^ Ancient Law>i of Ireland, vol. iv. , Crithgablach. 
^^ Tribes and Customs of Hy Many, p. 13. 

152 THE TUATll Oil TRIBK IN IRELAND. [book iii. 

state of society the idea that the slaughter or injury of any 
of its members was a crime against the State, which required 
the punishment of the criminal in vindication of the law of 
tlie land, was entirely unknown. The slaughter or injury of 
the member of the tribe was considered as a loss to the tribe 
itself, which must be compensated for, and when compensa- 
tion was made and accepted the criminal was free. Originall} 
the compensation was probably simple retaliation, but after- 
wards this right of retaliation might be bought off by payment 
of a fine. That a tradition of tins kind existed appears from 
a passage in the Introduction to the Senchus Mor, in which 
we are told that ' retaliation prevailed in Erin before Patrick, 
and Patrick brought forgiveness with him. At this day we 
keep between forgiveness and retaliation ; for as at present 
no one has the power of bestowing heaven as Patrick had at 
that day, so no one is put to death for his intentional crimes, 
so long as Eric fine is obtained ; and whenever Eric fine is 
not obtained, he is put to death for his intentional crimes, 
and placed on tlie sea for his unintentional crimes.' Sir 
Henry Maine, in commenting on this passage, justly remarks, 
that ' it is impossible, of course, to accept the statement that 
this wide-spread ancient institution, the pecuniary fine levied 
on tribes or families for the wrongs done by their members, 
had its origin in Christian influences ; but that it succeeded 
simple retaliation is in the highest degree probable.'-*' 
The Honor The system of fines was based in the main upon a fixed 

P"ce. ..... 

value put upon each person, estimated according to his posi- 
tion and rank, and expressed by a standard of value in cattle. 
This was his Enechlann or Honor price, and it enters as an 
element into all the pecuniary relations of the different 
members of the tribes with each other. Tliis standard of 
value was expressed in two forms. First by what was termed 
a Set or Scd, by which single animals of different value were 
'-■" Early History of Institutions, p. 23. 


meant. The next was the Bi Set or milch cow, which was 
equal to two Samaiscs or three-year-old heifers or mules, and 
each Samaisc was equal to two Dairis or Colioachs, that is, two- 
year-old heifers or bulls, and the rule was that of every three 
Sets one must be of each kind.-^ The other standard of 
value was the Cumhal, which originally meant a female 
bondslave, and was equal in value to three milch cows. 

The Honor price of the Ogaire was three Seds, but they 
must be Seds of the cow kind. Five Seds that of a Boaire ; 
ten Seds that of the Aire desa ; fifteen that of the Aire ard ; 
twenty that of the Aire tuisi ; twenty-four that of the Aire 
forgaill ; thirty Seds that of the Tanist or successor to the 
king of the tribe ; and seven Cumhals, or twenty-one cows, 
that of the king himself. The king of a Mortuath has an 
additional Cumhal, or three cows more, to make up his Honor 
price. The Honor price of a son of each rank was equal to 
that of the rank immediately below it. The intentional 
slaughter, then, of one of these persons might be compensated 
by payment of the Eric fine, which was equal to the Honor 
price of the person slain. Other fines were the Dire fine for 
injury to a man's property, and the Smacht or body fine. A 
share of these fines fell to the Flath or chief under whom the 
person injured was, and also to the king of the tribe, which 
formed no insignificant portion of his revenue. 

In combination with the tribal organisation, there was System of 
also in Ireland an ancient system of fixed land measures r,easures. 
adapted to it. The largest of these divisions was the Triclia- 
ced, which was considered as the normal extent of the Tiiath 
or territory of a tribe. It contained thirty Bailehiataglis, and 
each Bailehiatagh twelve Seisrighs or ploughlands, also termed 
Bcdlyhoes, and these were the townships, and the distribution 

-1 Cormac's Glossary, voce Cle- might be paid thus : — 
thac, p. 29. Mr. O'Curry gives the 10 Ki Seoit=IO cows, 

following illustration: — A tine of 16 Samaisc = 8 cows, 

three Cumals, or twenty-one cows, 12 Seoitgabla = 3 cows. 


of the land among the freemen of the tribe appears to have 
been separately allotted in each township to its occupants. 
An ancient poem,-'- printed by Mr. O'Donovan in his edition 
of the Battle of Magh Lena, gives probably the oldest view 
of these land divisions over all Ireland, as it is attributed to 
the same Finntan who is said to have preserved the record 
of the ancient mythic colonisation of Ireland. The poem 
is thus translated by Mr. O'Donovan, the denomination of 
land beincr, however, retained untranslated : — 

1. How many Trichas in noble Erinn, 
How many half Trichas to accord, 
How many Bailes in linked array, 
How many doth each Baile sustain. 

2. How many Bailes and Tricha-ceds, 
In Erinn the abundant in wealth. 

I say unto thee — an assertion with sense— 
I defy all the learned to confute it. 

3. Do not say that you defy me, 
Said Finntan, the man of sense ; 

I am the most learned that has been 
In Alban, in Erinn. 

•i. Ten Bailes in each Tricha-ced, 

And twenty Bailes (thirty in all), it is no falsehood ; 
Though small their number to us appears. 
Their extent form a noble country (Crich). 

5. A Baile sustains three hundred cows, 
With twelve Seisrighs, it is no lie ; 
Four full herds may therein roam. 
With no cow of either touching the other. 

6. I enumerate eighteen Trichas 

In the country of Meath of ample wealtli. 

And thirty Trichas more 

In the country of Connaght yellow-haired. 

'^ Published by Celtic Society, p. 107. 


7. I enumerate fifteen Trichas, 

And twenty Trichas ; without falsehood 
This I say to you— a saying bold — 
In the great province of Ulster. 

8. Eleven Trichas in Leinster, 
And twenty of teaming wealth, 
From Inbher Duibhlinne hither 
Unto the road of the Boroimhe. 

9. Ten Trichas in Munster, 

And threescore in full accordance, 

In the two proud provinces (N. and S. Munster), 

In the great extensive Munster. 

10. I enumerate four Tricha-ced.s, 

And ninescore (184 in all), it is no falsehood, 
Without the deficiency to any Tricha of them. 
Of one Baile or half a Baile. 

11. Twenty Bailes, too, and five hundred 

And five thousand (5520 in all), it is no falsehood 
Since I have taken to divide them, 
Is the number of Bailes in Erinn. 

12. Two score acres three times, 
Is the land of the Seisrigh ; 

The land of three Seisrighs, therefore. 
Is the quarter of a Bailebiataigh. 

13. To twelve Seisrighs in full, 

The Bailebiataigh alone is equal ; 
As I am Finntan, a man of sense, 
The tenth generation from Adam. 

14. The history of Erinn in memory. 
As it is in all the books, 
Finntan, the truly intelligent, hath. 
Of him is asked how many. 

The Seisrigh or ploughgate, which represents the sown 
land, is here stated to contain 120 acres and twelve plough- 
gates, with as much pasture land as sustained 300 cows, or 


four herds of seveuty-tive each formed the Bailchiatagh. 
Thirty Bailchiatagh^ constituted a Tricha-ccd, which would 
thus contain 43,200 acres ; and as, according to the poem, 
there were 184 Tricha-ceds in Ireland, this represents about 
one-half of the acreage of the whole country, assuming that 
the ancient and modern acre was the same in extent. The 
other half would thus represent the waste lands, which were 
turned to no profitable account. 

These measures of land make their appearance at an early 
period in the mythic history of Ireland, for it is recorded of 
Ollamli Fodla, one of the most remarkable figures who ap- 
pears in this extraordinary catalogue of shadowy monarchs, 
and who is said to have flourished twelve centuries before 
Christ, that 'it was he also that appointed a Toisech over 
every Tricha-ced, and a Brughaidh over every Bailc, who were 
all to serve the king of Erinn.'-^ They emerge also in the 
historic period in the tenth century, when a great fleet of 
Danes landed at Limerick and plundered and ravaged Munster, 
both churches and tribes {Cclla ocus Tiiatha), and their king 
is said to have 'ordained kings (Eigu), chiefs (Taishechu), 
Maers and Reactairidu or stewards in each land (Tir) and in 
each Tuath, as well as levied the Cis rigda, or dues of the 
kingdom,' that is, confirmed the old tribal organisation, substi- 
tuting Danes for Gael, so that there was ' a king (Ei) for each 
Tir, a Toisech for each Tuath, an abbot for each Cill or church, 
a Maer for each Bailc, and a Suairtleach in each Tigi or 
homestead.^* In the succeeding century it is told of Brian 
Boroimhe, the Munster king who reigned over Ireland from 
1002 to 1014, and defeated the Danes in the great battle of 
Clontarf, that ' during his time surnames were first given, and 
territories (Duchadha) allotted to the surnames, and the bound- 
aries of every Tuath and every Tricha-ced were fixed.' -^ 

^ Annals oj the Four 3f asters, i. p. 53. 

^ yVar of the Gaedhil icith Gaill , p. 49. ^ Irisli Topographical Poems, p. 9. 


But although these aucient measures of land are repre- 
sented as possessing a definite and fixed extent, yet there 
seems to be little doubt that they varied very much in 
different parts of Ireland. Thus the unit of the Seisrigh or 
ploughgate seems to have been of two kinds — a larger measure 
of 120 acres in some parts of Ireland, and a smaller measure 
of 60 acres in other parts. We also find the Ballyhiatagh 
consisting of sixteen Taths in place of twelve ploughgates, 
the Tatli containing sixty acres. 

But not only do these measures of land vary in size and Later state 
denomination, but the Tuath or tribe territory appears also to tribes. 
have varied in different parts of Ireland as well as the consti- 
tution of the tribe possessing it. The publications of the Irish 
Archaeological and Celtic Societies afford specimens of this in 
four of the provinces in Ireland. Thus the preface to the 
poems of John Dugan, who died in 1372, opens with refer- 
ence to Meath witli the general statement — 'His country 
(Buthaidh) to every Ardrigh and to every Urrigh and to every 
Taoisech of a Tuath in Erin.'-'^ In the district of Corca Laidhe 
in Munster, which represented a Mortuath, instead of contain- 
ing merely three or seven Tiiaths, we find eight Tuaths men- 
tioned, and of seven of these the head of the tribe is termed 
its Toiscch, and bears the same name, while the Flaith or chiefs 
are called Odaicli Duthaich, or the champions of the territory. 
The first is the Duthaich or country of Gillamichil, with 
seventeen Oclaich. Then we have the Tuath Ui Choimeid, with 
Conneid as its Toisech, and five Oclaich. Then Tuath Ruis, 
with Laeghaire as its Toisech, and eleven Oclaich or chiefs. 
Then Tuath O'n-Aenghusa, with h-Aenghusa as its Toisech, 
and fourteen Oclaich. Then Tuath O'Fithcheallaigh, with 
OTithcheallaigh as its Toisech, and eight Oclaich. Then 
Tuath O'n Dunghalaigh, with Dunghaill as its Toisech, and 
nine Oclaich. Then Tuath Ui-Dubhdaleithe, with Dubh- 

-^ Irish Topographical Poems, p. \. 


(laleitlie as its Toiscch and seven Oclaich. The Ijoundaries 
of these several Tuaths are likewise given.^" 

In the province of Connaught we have also an account 
of four of the great territories, which furnishes us also with 
some information regarding the constitution of the tribes 
there. In a tract printed in the appendix to ' The Tribes 
and Customs of Hy Fiachraich ' we find the following state- 
ment : — ' Connaught (and, I suppose, other provinces) was 
anciently distinguished into countries called Doohie {Duth- 
aidh) or Tyre (Tir), named from such and such families or 
nations inhabiting them, as in the barony of Athlone, 
Doohie Keogh, the country or nation of tlie Keoghs. In the 
Imrony of Ballintobber, Doohie Hanly, the country of the 
Hauleys, and betwixt Elphin and Jamestown, that sweet 
country Teer Euin (Tir Briuin) and Teer Byrne, the 
country of the Beirns. These countries were subdivided into 
townlands (in some other parts of Ireland known by the 
name of ploughlands), which were called Ballys, as in Doohie 
Hanley Bally nengulluh, or Gyllstown, Bally gillcdinnc, the 
town of the Chlinnes), Ballyfeeny, etc. ; and each townland 
was divided again into quarters, which are generally known 
and distinguished by certain meares and bounds, and for 
that reason the name of quarter is used as though it signified 
a certain measure ; and now the lands here are generally set 
and let, not by the measure of acres but by the name of 
quarters, cartrons, and gnieves, a quarter being the fourth 
part of a townland, and a gnieve the sixth part of a quarter, 
and a cartron also the fourth part of a quarter (although in 
other parts of Ireland a quarter is the same part that a 
cartron is here, and a gnieve the fourth part of a cartron). I 
have been sometimes perplexed to know how many acres 
a quarter contains, but I have learned it is an uncertain 
measure, and anciently proportioned only by guess, or 
-^ Miscellany of the Celtic Society, p. 49. 


according to the bigness of the townland whereof it was a 
parcel.' ^ 

From the tract termed the ' Hereditary Proprietors {Buth- 
chusaigh) of the Clann Fiachrach ' we obtain some further 
information. The territory possessed by the tribe appears 
under different names. These are Triocha Chevd, Taoisi- 
dheacht, or territory ruled over by a Taoiscch, Tuath, and 
DuthaidhP The first is the Triocha Ceud of Ceara, and over 
it were three kings, O'Muireadhaigh, O'Gormog, and O'Tigher- 
naigh. It seems to have been exceptionally large. Then we 
have five districts termed Taoisidheacht. The first is that of 
O'h-Uada and O'Cinnchnamha. Then that of O'Cearnaigh, 
containing the twenty-four Ballys of the termon of Balla, and 
therefore nearly as extensive as a Triocha Ceud, but the ex- 
pression Termon indicates it as being church land. Then 
that of Ui Ruadin and of him is the Dxidhchus of O'Culachan. 
Then that of O'Birn and that of O'GorrmghioUa, the latter 
containing seven Ballys and a half, or the fourth part of a 
Triocha Ceud. Then there are three Tuaths mentioned. 
First the Tuath of Partraighe, co-extensive with the parish of 
Ballyovey. Of this Tuath we have two accounts. The first 
shows us the Ri tuath and the Taoiscch distinct, for 
O'Gaimiallaigh was its Ri and O'Dorchaidhe its Taoiscch. 
By the second account it was the Taoisigheacht of O'Dor- 
chaidhe alone. O'Banan of Bally Ui Banan and Magilin of 
Muine were two Mac Oglaichs or inferior chiefs. The Tuath 
of Magh na bethighe contained the seven Ballys of Lughortan, 
the Duthaidh of Mac an Bhainbh. The Tuath of Magh 
Fhiondalbha, containing fifteen Ballys or half a Triocha Ceud, 
was the Duthaidh of O'Cearnaigh. Then twelve Duthaidhs 

-^ Tribes and Customs of Hy iu some family ; Duthchas as a here- 

Fiachraich, p. 453. ditary estate or patrimonial inherit- 

-^ Air. O'Donovan explains Duth- ance ; Duthchaxach an inheritor or 

m'rf/t as a tract of country hereditary hereditary proprietor. — lb. p. 149. 

160 THE TUATH Oil TRIBE IN IKELAND. [book hi. 

or Estates are given, all connected with surnames. Of these 
seven consist of one Bally only. The DiUhaidh of O'h-Edh- 
neachan consisted of three divisions, each containing three 
Ballys. The Duthaidh of O'Faghartaigh contained three 
Hallys, and that of O'Caomhan containing the seven Ballys 
of lioslaogh. All of these tribes possessed a common origin 
with one exception, for it is added ' that there was found no 
Tuath without its hereditary proprietor of the race of Earc 
Culbhuidhe except this well-known Tuath Aitheachda' that 
is, tribe of the older subjected inhabitants, called Tuath 
Buisen, the old name of Eoslaog.^^ 

The Tribes and Customs of Hy Many, another great dis- 
trict of Counaught, throw further light on the subject. This 
district was considered to be a third part of the province of 
Connaught, and the patrimony of the Clann Ceallaigh or 
O'Kellys. In a tract giving an account of its boundaries we 
;ire told that it consisted of ' seven TricJia, seven Tuatlis, seven 
Ballys, and seven half Ballys ; ^i and in the tract called the 
' Customs of Hy Many ' we read : ' These are the tributaries 
of the Cla7in Ceallaigh : the O'Duibhginns, the O'Geibhen- 
naighs, the MacCathails, the MacFloinns, Muintir Murchad- 
han, and the Clann Aedhagain, until they become Ollamhs to 
the Ardri or head of the whole race. These seven tributaries 
correspond with the seven Tricha ; ' and it is added, that ' the 
third part of the Cuigid or province of Connaught, that is, 
Hy Many, is to be their Duthaidh for ever.' They have 
also the ' marshalship of the forces ' {Marasgalacht a Sluag), 
as Saer clann or free tribes, and they are freed from the 
Sluaged, or hostings of spring and autumn. The seven Tuaths 
were apparently smaller divisions, and corresponding with 
them we have 'the seven Oirrighi or sub-kings of Hy Many, 
viz., O'Conaill, and he has the same patrimony as Mac 

.w Tribe.s and CnMoms of Hy Fiachriach, pp. 149-159. 
=*' Customs of Hy Many, preface, p. 4. 


Chnaimhin and O'Dubhunla ; the OirHghs of the Sit Anm- 
chadha are the O'Madudhaiiis ; the Righs or rather Oirrighs 
of Maenmaigh are the Muintir Neachtain and the O'Maelall- 
aidhs ; the six Soghans with their Tricha ; to whomsoever of 
them they cede the lordship he is called Oirrigh during 
his lordship,' and this makes up the seven. Corresponding 
with the seven Ballys we find that ' the seven Flaiths of Hy 
Many are these, viz., Mac Eidhigan, Flath of Clann Diar- 
mada ; MacGelli-Enan, Flath of Clann Flaithemael and of 
the Muintir Chinait ; the Flaith of Clann Bresail is the 
Muintir Domhnallan, and the Flaith of Clann Duibgind is 
O'Duibgind, and O'Gabhrain is over Dal n-Druithne, and 
O'Docomhlan over Rinnna h-Eignide, and O'Donnchadha over 
Aibh Cormac Maenmuighe, and O'Mailbrigdi is F'lath of 
Bredach.' The seven half Ballys correspond with the seven 
principal Comharbas of Hy Many, and were the lands 
attached to seven churches. We have then the following 
curious account of the termination of the tribal system in 
Hy Many. An agreement is entered into in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth, on the 6th of August 1589, between 'the 
Irish chieftains and inhabitants of Imany called the O'Kellie's 
country,' consisting of, first, the O'Kelly or head of the race ; 
two O'Kellys, competitors for the name of Tanistshippe of 
(!)'Kelly ; two other O'Kellys, and different chiefs bearing the 
names of O'Mannine, O'Concannon, O'Naghten, Mac Keoghe, 
O'Murry, O'Fallone, and Mac Gerraghte. It is there stated 
that ' the territory of Imany, called O'Kelly's Country, is 
divided into five principal barronyes, all which contain 665i 
quarters of land, each at 120 acres/ and they agree 'that 
the Captainshippe and Tanistshippe of the said country, here- 
tofore used by the said O'Kellys, and all elections and Irish 
customary division of lands, shall be utterly abolished and 
extinct for ever.' The O'Kelly is to have four quarters of 
land then in his possession, with a chief-rent out of other 


lands during his life, and the other two O'Kellys four quarters 

TIic third great district or Mortuath of Connaught was that 
called ' West, or H-Iar Connaught, the country of the O'Fla- 
hertys,' and in connection with it we have a tract'/on the 
' territories of the hereditary proprietors of Muintir Murchadha 
of Clanfergail and Meadruidhe and Hy Briuin Seola and Hy 
Briuin Ratha and Muintir Fathy ; their Toiseachs and high 
Mac Oglachs and Ollaves, that is, O'Halloran is Toiseach of the 
twenty-four Ballys of Clanfergail (or nearly a Triocha Ceud), 
and of these are O'Antuile and OTergus of Roscam. Mac 
Cingamain and Mac Catharnaigh are the two Toiseachs of 
Meadruidhe, having each their own people of the tribe subject 
to them. O'Dathlaoich is the Toiseach of the fourteen Ballys 
of the Hy Briuin Eatha (or half a Triocha Ceud), and of these 
are the O'Kennedies and the O'Duinns and the O'Innogs 
of Cnoctuadh and O'Laighin of Lackagh and O'Callanan, 
Coraharba of Kilcahil,' the latter being an ecclesiastical sept 
occupying church land. ' O'Canavan was medical OUamh of 
O'Flaherty in the Tuath of Toibrineadh, but others say it was 
O'Laighidh. The Flaith or chiefs of Hy Briuin Seola, with 
their correlatives, are O'Fechin, O'Balbhain, O'Duff, and 
O'Madudhain.' This last tribe does not appear united under 
one head but broken up into septs. ' O'Flaharty is Toiseach 
of the fourteen Ballys of Muintir Fath3% with their correla- 
tives under them.' We have then a list of the hereditary 
office-bearers of O'Flaherty, which it may be useful to insert 
as showing that this designation of Toiseach was not only 
applied to the hereditary leaders of tribes, but when coupled 
with a qualifying word designated a hereditary officer ; thus 
Mac Gillagannain of Moyleaslainn is Toiseach scuir, or Master 
of the Horse to O'Flaherty. The O'Colgam of Bally Colgan 
are standard-bearers {go m-lrataigh) of O'Flaherty. Mac- 

^- Customs of the Hy Many, Preface, p. 19. 


Ginnaiu is the Comharha of Kilcoona. O'Maelampaill of 
Donaghpatraic is theBrehon or judge of O'Flaherty. O'Cleircin 
of Eathbuidbh, O'Laibacain, and O'Maoilin, are the Ercnachs 
of Cillbile. The O'Dubains are the attendants {Lucid Comhi- 
deachta) of O'Flaherty at his common house. The Mac- 
Kilkellys are the Ollamhs of O'Flaherty in history and poetry, 
and for this they have three half Ballys. O'Domnall of Ard- 
ratha is the Toiseach Comoil, or Master of the Feast of O'Fla- 
herty, with his own correlatives under him — viz., O'Daigean 
of Ardfintain, who was O'Dorahnall's steward (Beachtaire), 
and O'Chichearan of Lis-chicheran, and O'Conlachtna of 
Ballyconlachtna, are the Beachadoir, or beekeepers, of O'Fla- 
herty. O'Murgaile of Muiune-inradain is the high steward 
(Ardreachtaire) of O'Flaherty.' ^^ The king of Connaught, the 
head of the O'Connors, had similar officers ; for we are told 
by O'Ferrall, in his Book' of Pedigrees, under the O'Conor 
family, ' that the king of Connaught kept twelve prince offi- 
cers of the chief families of his country in his court, attending 
his person as his council, and to rule and govern as well his 
household as to manage the affairs of his kingdom in war and 
peace, and were called in Irish Taoisigh na Cruachan, or Toi- 
seachs of Cruachan, the royal residence, which officers were 
hereditary from father to son. These chief lords had from 
the king certain subsidies for their services.' ^* 

These are given in detail in an ancient tract among the 
Stowe Mss. Four of them — viz., O'Flanagan, MacGerachty. 
O'Finnachty, and O'Maolbrennan — were termed royal Taois- 
eachs, and had each a subsidy of fifty milch cows and fifty 
sheep at Beltane, and fifty heifers and fifty pigs at Samheinn, 
as well as a domain of forty-eight Ballys ; and of these officers, 
O'Flannagain had the high stewardship {Ardmaoraidacht), 

^^ Chorographical Description of aries, as honey supplied at that 
West Connaiujht, p. 368. The bee- time the place of sugar, 
keepers were important function- ** lb. p. 139. 


0'1'eorinachtaigh was the Hostiarius or doorkeeper, and 
O'Maolbrennan was joint steward, aud commanded the body- 
guards. The other eight Toiseachs of inferior rank had a 
domain of twenty-four Ballys each, and of these O'Hanly had 
the guardianship of hostages and prisoners, O'Floinn the 
stewardship of the horse (Maoras Hack), O'Flaithbertaigh and 
O'Maille the command of the fleet, MacDiarmad was high 
marschal, O'Teige was Taoiseach Teaghlach or marshal of 
the household, and O'Kelly was Taoiseach Send or steward 
of the jewels.^^ 

The province of Ulster likewise presents us with the Timth 
or tribe, several of which form a larger territory equivalent to 
the Mortuath. Thus a vast territory, consisting of the two 
districts of the Eoute and Glynnes, was granted by James i. 
in 1603 to the Earl of Tyrone, and was at that time sub- 
divided into sixteen smaller districts termed Tuoghs or Tuathf, 
which are recited in the patent. The Eoute, which was co- 
extensive with the ancient territory of Dalriada — from which 
name indeed the modern word Eoute is a corruption — con- 
tained nine Tuoghs. These were the Tuogh between the 
Bandy or Bann and the Boys or Bush, containing six parishes ; 
the Tuogh of Dunseverick and Ballenatoy ; the Tuogh of Bal- 
lelagh ; the Tuogh of Loughgill ; the Tuogh of Balle money and 
Dromart, containing two parishes; the Tuogh of Killeoconway 
{Coil na g-Connmuigh), or the wood of O'Conway; the 
Tuogh of Killioquin, or the wood of O'Conn ; the Tuogh of 
Killiomorrie, or the wood of O'Murry; and the Tuogh of 
Magheredunagh (Machaire Dun Eachdach), or plain of the fort 
of Eachdach, consisting of the parish now called Dunaghy. 
The district of the Glynnes consisted of seven baronies, 
six of which are termed Tuoghs. These were the Tuogh of 
Munerie, the Tuogh of Carey, the Tuogh of Glenmiconogh, the 
Tuogh of the Largie, the Tuogh of the Parke, and the Tuogh 
^ Gat. Stowe MSS. vol. i. p. 168. 


of the Larne. The entire acreage of the two districts of 
the Koute and the Glynnes was 333,907 acres, giving an 
average of 20,869 acres to each. 

The names of the tribes which were connected with these 
Tuoghs or Tuaths have not been preserved, but they are still 
retained in the district of North Clandeboy, which with South 
Clandeboy represented the ancient Dalnaraighe or territory 
of the Picts of Ulster. We find from an inquisition in 1605 
that North Clandeboy consisted of twenty subdivisions, 
thirteen larger and seven smaller ; the former are termed 
Tuoghs or Tuaths, and are named after the tribes occupying 
them. These are the Tuogh of Clanaghartie, containing the 
entire parish of Kilconriola and part of Ahoghill, and the 
Tuogh of Muntir Callie {Muintir Ceallaigh), or the tribe of 
Kelly, containing the rest of Ahoghill parish. These two 
together formed the barony of Lower Toome, and contained 
36,000 acres. The Ttiogh of Muntir Rividy, and the Ttcogh 
na Fuigh. These two formed the barony of Upper Toome, 
and contained 64,000 acres. The Tiiogh of Muntir Murigan 
{Muintir Mhuireagan), or the tribe of Murrigan. The Tuogh 
na Keart. The Tuogh of Moylinny, which is co-extensive 
with the barony of Upper Antrim, and contained 36,000 
acres. The Tuogh of Killelagh. The Tuogk of Maghery- 
morne, the Tuogh of Braden Hand, and the Tuogh of Bal- 
linlyny. These three formed the barony of Lower Belfast, 
and contain 56,000 acres. The Tuogh Cinament, containing 
part of the parish of Shankill, and the Tuogh of the Fall, 
containing the rest of Shankill and the parish of Drumbeg.^^ 

We have then a very instructive account of the counties 
of Monaghan and Fermanagh in a letter addressed by Sir 
John Davis, Attorney-General of Ireland, to the Earl of 
Salisbury in the year 1606. He states that Monaghan, 
otherwise called M'Mahon's country, ' was divided into 

^* Reeves, Arch, of Doion and Connor, pp. 330, 345. 


five baronies, viz., Dartry, Monaglian, Creniorne, Trough, 
and Donamayne ; that these five baronies contain an hun- 
dred Bally betaghs, viz., Dartrey 21, Monaglian 21, Creniorne 
22, Trough 15, and Donamayne 21.' These obviously repre- 
sent Tuatks, four being about two-thirds, and the fifth the 
half of a Triocha Ceud. He then proceeds to tell us ' that 
every BalUhetagh (which signifieth in the Irish tongue a 
town able to maintain hospitality) containeth 1 G taths, each 
tath containeth 60 English acres or thereabout ; so as every 
BalUhetagh containeth 960 acres, the extent of the whole 
containing 100 BalUhdaglis is 96,000 acres, besides the 
church lands.' This territory having been forfeited to the 
Crown, four of the baronies were thus regranted to the 
M'Mahons. ' In the Dartrey five BalUhdaglis were granted 
in demesne to Bryan McHugh Oge McMahon, then reputed 
chief of his name, and the heirs-male of his body, rendering 
£30 rent, viz., £6 for each BalUhetagh ; the other 16 Balli- 
hetaghs were divided among the ancient inhahitants of that 
barony, some having a greater portion allotted and some a 
less ; howbeit every one did render a yearly rent of 20s. out 
of every tath, whereof 1 2s. 6d. \\'as granted to Bryan McHugh 
Oge McMahon as a chief rent in lieu of all other duties, and 
7s. 6d. was reserved to the Crown ; which plot was observed 
in every of the other baronies, so as out of every BalUhetagh 
containing 16 taths the lord had £10 and the king £6. In 
Monaghan, Eoss Bane McMahon had likewise five Balli- 
betaghs granted unto him, with the like estate, rendering 
to the queen £30 rent, and the like chief rent out of nine 
Ballyhetaghs more, and in the same barony Patrick McArt 
Moyle had three Ballyhetaghs allotted unto him with the 
like estate, rendering £18 rent to the queen, and the like 
chief rent out of the other four. 

' In Creniorne, Ever McColla McMahon had five Bally- 
hetaghs in demesne granted unto him, and the heirs-male of 


his body, rendering £30 rent to the Crown, and the like chief 
rent out of twelve other Ballyhetaghs ; and in the same barony 
one Patrick Diiffe McColla McMahon had two Ballyhetaghs 
and a half assigned to him in demesne, rendering £15 rent, and 
the like chief rent out of two other Ballyhetaghs and a half. 

' In the Tuough, containing only fifteen Ballyhetaghs, Pat- 
rick McKenna had three Ballyhetaghs and twelve taths in 
demesne, given unto him, with the like estate, rendering 
£22 rent as aforesaid, and the like chief rent out of seven 
other Ballyhetaghs ; and in the same barony one Bryan Oge 
McMahowne, brother to Hugh Eoe, had the like estate 
granted unto him in three Ballyhetaghs, rendering £18 rent 
in like manner, and the like chief rent out of two other 

These grants no doubt reflect the ancient occupation of 
the district, the various returns in kind and in service being 
commuted for a money payment, and the holdings being made 
direct from the Crown, part of each barony being held in 
demesne by the chiefs, and the rest by what Sir John calls 
the inferior inhabitants, who had, he says, likewise 'their 
demesne and rents allotted to them, and their several portions 
of land granted unto them and to their heirs.' Besides these 
temporal lands there were, he says, ' the spiritual lands, which 
the Irish call Termons, which were granted to sundry 
servitors rendering 10s. to the Crown for every tath; which 
out of all the church lands amounted to £70 per annum or 
thereabouts,' that is, to 140 taths, equal to about nine Bally- 

From the return with regard to the county of Fermanagh 
we obtain similar information, with some additional particulars 
deserving of notice. ' For the lands of inheritance in Fer- 
managh,' otherwise called Maguire's Country, he says, ' they 
stood not in the same terms as the lands in Monaghan. For 
the signorie or chiefry and the demesne lands, that were the 


inlieritance of MacGuire himself, were reduced and vested in 
the Crown.' .... But forasmuch as the greatest part of the 
inhabitants of that country did claim to be freeholders of 
their several possessions, who, surviving the late rebellion, 
had never been attainted, so as we could not clearly entitle 
the Crown to their land ; ' and he adds, that ' they held the 
same not according to the course of common law but by the 
custom of tanistry, whereby the eldest of every sept claimed 
a chiefry over the rest, and the inferior sort divided their 
possessions after the manner of gavelkind.' Sir John tells us 
that, 'First we thought it meet to distinguish the possessions, 
next to inquire of the particular possessors thereof. Touch- 
ing the possessions,' he says, ' we found Fermanagh to be 
divided into seven baronies, viz., Magheryboy, Clanawley, 
Clankelly, Maghery, Stephanagh, Tirkennedy, Knockrinie. 
and Lough Lurgh. Every of these baronies contains seven 
Ballyhetaghs and a half of land, chargeable with McGuire's 
rent, and other contributions of the country. Every Bally- 
betagh is divided into four quarters of land, and every quarter 
into four tatks, so as a Ballyhetagh containeth sixteen taths, as 
it doth in Monaghan, but the measure of this country is far 
larger ; besides the freeland, whereof there is good quantity 
in every barony, is no parcel of the seven Ballyhetaghs and 
a half, whereof the barony is said to consist. For these 
reasons Fermanagh, containing but fifty-one Ballyhetaghs and 
a half of chargeable lands, is well-nigh as large an extent as 
Monaghan, which hath in it an hundred Ballyhetaghs! 

' Touching the freeland we found them,' he says, ' to be 
of three kinds — 

' 1. Church land or termon lands, as the Irish call it. 

' 2. The mensal land of McGuire. 

' 3, Land given to certain septs privileged among the 
Irish, viz., the lands of the chroniclers, rimers, and gallo- 


' The Church land was either monastery land, Corhe land, 
or Erenaclis land. The monastery land lay in the barony 
of Clanawley, and did not exceed two Ballyhetaghs, but the 
lands belonging to the Corhes and Erenachs are of far greater 
quantity, and are found in every barony. They told me,' 
he adds, 'that the word Termon doth signify in the Irish 
tongue a liberty or freedom, and that all church lands what- 
soever are called termon lands by the Irish, because they were 
ever free from all impositions and cuttings of the temporal 
lords, and had the privilege of sanctuary.' 

McGuire's mensal lands, he tells us, were ' free from all 
common charges and contributions of the country, because 
they yielded a large proportion of butter and meal and other 
provisions for McGuire's table, ' and that though lying in 
several baronies did not in quantity exceed four Ballyhetaghs, 
the greatest thereof being in the possession of one M'Manus 
and his sept.' The certainties of the duties or provisions 
yielded unto McGuire out of these mensal lands were set 
forth in an old parchment roll in the hands of one O'Brislan, 
a chronicler and principal Brehon of that country. It was 
not very large, but was written on both sides in a fair Irish 
character, and contained not only ' the certainty of McGuire's 
mensal duties, but also the particular rents and other services 
which were answered to McGuire out of every part of the 
country.' ' Besides these mensals,' he adds, ' McGuire had 
two hundred and forty beeves or thereabouts yearly paid unto 
him out of the seven baronies, and about his castle at Inis- 
killen he had almost a Ballyletagh of land, which he manured 
with his own churles. And this was McGuire's whole estate 
in certainty, for in right he had no more, and in time of peace 
did exact no more. In time of war he made himself owner 
of all, cutting what he listed, and imposing as many honachts 
or hired soldiers upon them as he had occasion to use. Con- 
cerning the free land of the third kind — viz., such land as is 


possessed by the Irish oilicers of this country, viz., chroniclers, 
galloglasses, and rimers — the entire quantities if it were 
laid down together, as it is scattered in sundry baronies, doth 
well-nigh make two Ballyhetaghs and no more.' ^^ 

This presents us with a graphic enough account of the 
state of the Irish tribe as it existed at the time Sir John 
Davis wrote ; and we may supplement what he says as to the 
position of the Ternion or Church lands, and their freedom 
from the burdens to which the other lands were subject, by 
two charters preserved in the Book of Kells. The first is a 
grant by Conchobhar O'Maelsechlann, king of Meath, in the 
eleventh century, by which he gave Kildelga with its territory 
and lands to God and to Columkille for ever, free of all 
claim for Cis or rent, Cobacli or tribute, Fecht and Sluagecl or 
expedition and hosting, and Coinnim from king or Toiseach, 
and the precise signification of Coinnim appears from the 
second charter granted in the succeeding century, by which 
the freedom of Ardbreacain was granted by Muirchertach 
O'Lochlainn, king of Ireland, Diarmaid O'Maelsechlann, king 
of Meath, and Aedh Mac Cu-Uladh, king of Laeghaire. The 
people of Laeghaire had a certain tribute on the Church, viz., 
one night's Coinnmeda every quarter of a year. O'Lochlain, 
king of Ireland, and O'Maelsechlann, king of Meath, induced 
the king of Laeghaire to sell this night's Coinnmeda for three 
ounces of gold. The Church, therefore, with its territory and 
lands, is free for two reasons, viz., on account of the general 
freedom of all churches, and on account of this purchase.' ^** 

We thus see that the leading features of the Irish tribes, 
as we have gathered them in the ancient laws, can to a great 
extent be recognised in the state of the native population of 
the country, as we find it presented to us at a later period in 
four of her great provinces. 

^^ Letterof Sir John Davis, Co^ ^s gook of Kells, /ra/t Arch. 

Rebus Hibernicis, vol. i. pp. 140,152. Misc., vol. i. pp. 139, 143. 




Among the changes produced in the social organisation of the Origin of 

^ ^ ° the Fine 

tribe by external influence and internal progress, not the or Sept. 
least striking was the gradual development within it of the 
Find or septs. Though the word Find is undoubtedly used for 
the whole confraternity of the members of the tribe, viewed 
as a community united together by a supposed common origin, 
yet, in its strict technical sense, it was applied to those divi- 
sions of the tribe which may be called septs or clans. 

As soon as the superior advance of some members of the 
tribe over the others in wealth and importance produced a 
relation of superior and dependant by the latter becoming 
Ceile or tenants of the former, while their possessions became 
hereditary in their families, the germ of the Find or sept was 
formed. When the Boaire, or cow-lord, was led by wealth in 
cattle to give over the excess of his stock to other members 
of the tribe, who became his Ceile or dependants, a Find in 
its most restricted sense was formed, and the Aire Coisring, 
as he was called, became also the Aire Find, or head of an 
inferior sept.^ 

The acquisition of part, of the tribe land as the absolute 'I'^e Ciru 

^ or kinsfolk. 

property of individuals, and their advance as wealthy land 
as well as cattle owners, led to its further development. Tlie 
Aire who owned an estate in land which raised him to the 
position of a Flath or chief, and was enabled to transmit it 
to his descendants, led to the settlement of his family and 

' Ancient Laws of Ird,and, vol. iv. p. 349. 

or tenants. 


kinsfolk on the land. He was not considered as fully entitled 
to the privileges of a territorial lord unless his father and 
grandfather had likewise been an Aire; and when three 
generations had thus been settled on the land, the offshoots 
of these generations formed a group consisting of the nearest 
agnates of the chief, which would increase in number as the 
generations went on. These were the Ci7id, or kinsfolk of 
the head of the tribe, and to them were added those freemen 
of the tribe who claimed a conmion origin with them, and who 
placed themselves under tlie chief as his Ceile or dependants. 
The Ceile The Same causes which operated in the feudal system to 

lead the odal proprietors to commend themselves to an over- 
lord as his vassals, and gradually extinguished the more 
ancient class of independent landholders, tended likewise in 
the Irish tribal system to absorb the original freemen of the 
tribe in the class of the Ceile or dependants of the chief, and 
thus to add to his following and to form a constituent part 
of the Fin4 or sept. 

With the JSaor Ceile, or free dependants, the basis was a 
mutual contract for a fixed period usually of seven years, by 
which the Math or chief gave a portion of stock proportionate 
to the food-rent he was to receive in return, and was entitled 
along with this to the homage of the tenant during the sub- 
sistence of the contract, and to a certain amount of service in 
the erection of a Dun or fort, the reaping of his harvest, and 
the Sluaged or hosting ; but the contract could be terminated 
and the parties to it return to their original relation to each 
other, either by the Ceile or tenant returning the stock he had 
received, or by the Flatli reclaiming it. A more permanent 
connection was formed between him and the Daor Ceile or 
bond tenant. Here the Ceile placed himself formally under 
the protection of the Flath as his permanent follower, and 
this relation was formed by his receiving a certain number of 
Seds or cows, by way of subsidy or gift from the superior, and 


paying him a certain tribute termed Sed Taurdothe, or re- 
turnable Seds, as the price of his protection. This servitude 
was termed Aicillne, and the amount of the Seds was regu- 
lated by the Honor price. As soon as this relation was consti- 
tuted, he received an additional amount of stock in proportion 
to the food-rent he had to return, in the same manner as in 
the case of the free Ceiled The real distinction probably was, 
that in the one case the Ceile was in a more independent 
position, and possessed stock of his own as well as a share of 
the tribe land, besides what he received from the Flath. In 
the other he was dependent upon what he received from the 
Flath for the whole of his stock. When the Flath reclaimed 
his stock from the free Ceile, the latter had the option of 
becoming a bond Ceile, if he preferred doing so to returning 
his stock, and the Flath was then bound to add the returnable 
Seds to the stock he had originally given, which constituted 
the relation between him and the Ceile as a permanent de- 
pendant. This process, therefore, not only led to the freemen 
of the tribe being gradually absorbed into the class of the 
dependants or following of the chief, but placed a powerful 
weapon in the hands of the latter, by which he could trans- 
form his temporary free Ceile into permanent and more 
servile dependants. 

As the Flath, however, increased in wealth and power and The 

Fuidhir or 

his territory extended, he was not satisfied with drawing his stranger 
dependants from the tribe of which he was himself a member, 
but added to his followers by settling stranger septs upon 
his waste lands, and thus still further augmented his power. 
These stranger septs formed that class termed Fuidhir, a name 
which from its resemblance to the word feud, and from the 
apparent analogy between the position of the Fuidhir with 

- There is an elaborate account position of the Daor Ceile is shortly 
of the position of the Ceile in the and clearly given in Cormac's Glos- 
Ancient Laws, vol. ii. ; but the sary, voce Aicillne, p. 13. 

174 THE vmt or sept in Ireland, and [book m. 

the vassals of the feudal system, has given rise to much 
speculation. These analogies are, however, more apparent 
than real, and there is prohably no connection whatever be- 
yond casual resemblance between the terminology of the two 
systems. In the oldest Glossary, that of Cormac, the term is 
applied to the superior instead of the dependant, and the name 
Fuithir is said to be from fo thir, he who gives land (iir) to 
a stranger ; but in the Brehon Laws it is applied to those 
stranger septs settled upon the land, and, like all the depen- 
dants, consisted of the two classes of Sae7' and Bacr, free and 
bond, according to the temporary or permanent character of 
the connection. With the exception that they were broken 
men from stranger tribes instead of members of the same 
tribe, their connection with the chief presented the same 
features with that of the native Ccile. Of these Fuidhir 
there were said to be seven classes, ranging from those 
who had land or wealth and became detached from their 
tribe, to those who fled to the chief of another tribe for 
protection, and had nothing to give but their labour. The 
better class, termed Fuidhir Grian, obtained possession of a 
Bath consisting of the usual five houses, received stock from 
the Flath similar to that given to the Ceile, and had a 
Lagencch or Honor price. These formed subordinate septs or 
Fin4 under the chief,^ and we are told that they ' do not bear 
the liability of relationship unless there be five houses {Tre- 
ahha) to relieve each other. If there be five houses with com- 
plete stock, they share the property of the Fi7i^' {Finnteada), 
and this is explained in the commentary to mean that ' the 
Fuidhir gaUa — that is, the Fodaor or natural bondsman 
{Daor) — does not bear the crimes of his relatives unless he 
has five houses to relieve him, that is, five who have stock 
consisting of a hundred head of cattle, and unless they belong 
to one chief. If there be five men of them, each man having 

•* Ancient Laws, vol. iv. pp. o9, 2S7. 


a hundred of cattle, every one of them obtains his share of 
the dibaclh land of each other, and pays for the crimes of 
others, like every free native, that is, when they have the 
five stocks of a hundred cattle and are under one chief.* 
The lower class of Fuidhir were of four kinds, termed grui, 
gola, gahla, and gill de las, and consisted of strangers wlio 
had lost their land by wars, or fled from having been guilty 
of bloodshed, and of hostages saved from death. Lower than 
these again were the Bothach or cottiers, likewise divided 
into the two classes of Sacr and Dacr according as they 
were either small occupiers of land or were preedial slaves, 
and probably were remains of the oldest population of the 

The formation of the Fin4 or sept had thus a territorial Territorial 

. l)asia of 

basis, and the possession of the Deis or inheritance land, Fini. 
which gave its owner the rank of Aire, was also essential to 
liis acquiring the privileges of the chief of a Fin4. Thus we 
are told in one of the law tracts that ' there are four deis 
rights prescribed for flaith or chiefs. The ancient protection 
of the Tuath is his office in the Tuath ; the ofhce of Tuisig or 
leader, or Tanaist Tuisig, whichever it be, of his Ceile gialnai 
or bond Ceile, his Saer Ceile, and his Sencleithe or ancient 
adherents ; the punishment of every imperfect service ; and 
the following of Bothach or cottiers and Fuidhir, whom he 
brings upon his land, because his wealth is greater and 
better. If there is service from them to the Flaith during 
nine times nine years, they are Bothach and Fuidhir, but 
after that they are ranked as Sencleithe or old adherents.' ^ 

The Fin4, as thus constituted, was formed of two distinct 
classes ; — one being members of the same tribe as the Flath, 
and consisted of his own inmiediate family and relations, and 
of his Saor and Daor Ceile ; the other of stranger septs and 
broken men from other tribes, who were settled on the land, 

•* Ancient Laws, vol. iii. p. 11 ; vol. iv. pp. 30, 43. ■' Ih. vol. iv. p. 3-21. 

176 tup: FINl^ OH SKPT IN IRELAND, AND [book iii. 

and formed a class of subordinate followers. The basis was 
a territorial one ; but while the authority and privileges of 
the chief were derived from his deis, there was likewise a 
bond of union between him and the former class, derived 
from community of blood, and he added to his territorial 
riu;hts the natural claim to their allegiance arising from his 
position as a hereditary chief of their Tuath, as well as the 
right to punish imperfect service. The most important of 
these services on the part of the Ceile was the duty of follow- 
ing their chief to war. The Book of Aicill, one of these law 
tracts, tells us, ' A chief may enforce a Sloiged or hosting ; ' 
and the commentator explains, ' That is, there is a smacht 
fine, upon a Daor Ceile of the Gradfeine, that is, of the ranks 
below the Aires, for not going to it, and for coming away 
from it ; double work upon the Saor Ceile of the Grad Feine 
for not going to it, and Honor price for coming away from 
it.' Another and perhaps more ancient tract in the Brehon 
Laws gives us likewise a view of the Find. There we are 
told, ' These are the divisions of the Fine of each Flath or 
chief. His FuidJiir, his Ciniud or kinsfolk, his Gdbail fodag- 
niat (under which name his Ceile are comprised), all of whom 
go by the name of Flaith Fin6, or the chief's Find or sept.'^ 
The four That division of the Fin4 which was formed of those of 

thT CT«e or the same tribe as the Flath or chief consisted of two distinct 
^"^^^ ■ elements, the first being the Cinitid or near kinsmen of the 
Flath, and the second of those of the tribe who became his 
dependants and followers. The first, as descended from the 
original founder of the sept, had hereditary claims upon his 
land, as well as duties and privileges derived from kin to the 
chief, while the rights and duties of the latter were founded 
on contract ; and here we come in contact with one of the 

* Ancient Laws, vol. iv. p. 283. Gaelic, where it signifies a farm or 
The •word Oabail has retained its lease, and Oabbailtaiche is a tacks- 
tochnical meaning here in Scotch man or superior farmer. 


most difficult and obscure features of the Fine constitution, 
viz., that institution by which the duties and the privileges 
arising from kindred with the chief are limited to an artificial 
group of seventeen persons, which again was divided into four 
lesser groups, termed respectively Gcilfini, Ddrllifin^, larfini, 
and IndfinS. These formed the Duthaig Fin4, or the sept in 
its narrowest sense. The GeilfiiU consisted of five persons, 
and each of the others of four, making seventeen in all. 
Upon these four groups of kinsmen appears, in the first place, 
to have been imposed a joint responsibility for each member 
of it. Thus, we find in the Senchus Mor, that 'the four 
nearest Fine bear the crimes of each kinsman of their stock, 
Geilfin^ and Deirthfind, larjini and Indjin^-^ and in a com- 
mentary on the Senchus Mor, they are termed ' the four 
nearest Fine or families,' that is, ' because it is four Fines that 
sustain the liabilities of every person that is related to them 
intimately.'^ They likewise possessed mutual rights of suc- 
cession in the d'ihad of the chief, or the land which passed to 
his kinsfolk. These rights are very elaborately stated in the 
Book of Aicill, but it is necessary to give them in detail in 
order to understand the nature of this grouping of the kins- 
folk. In answer to the question, 'What is the reciprocal 
right among Fin6 ? ' we are told that ' if the Geilfin6 division 
become extinct, three-fourths of the dihad of the Gciljin^ 
shall go to the Deirhlifini, and one-fourth to the Iarfin6 and 
the IndfinS — viz., three-fourths of the fourth to the larfine, 
and one-fourth of it to the Indfini. 

' If the DeirhhfinS division has become extinct, three- 
fourths of its dihad goes to the Geilfin6, and one-fourth to 
the larjini and Indfin^ ' — that is, three-fourths of the fourth 
to the lariini, and a fourth of it to the IndjinL 

'If the /ar^7ie division has become extinct, three-fourths of 
its dihad shall go to the Deirhlifin4, and one-fourth of it to 

' Ancient Laios, vol. i. p. 261. ^ Ihld. vol. i. p. 275. 

VOL. in. M 


the Gcilfiid and Indjine — that is, three-fourths of the fourth 
to the Geiljine, and one-fourth of it to the Indfin^. 

' If the Indfiud has become extinct, three-fourths of its 
dibad shall go to the larfin^, and one-fourth of it to the 
Geiljind and Deirhhfinc — that is, three-fourths of the fourth 
to the JDeirhJifind, and one-fourth of it to the GeilfinA. 

' If the Geilfind and Deirbhfin6 both become extinct, three- 
fourths of their dihad shall go to the larfin^, and one-fourth 
to the Indfin^. 

' If the Indjin6 and larfirii both become extinct, three- 
fourths of their dibad shall go to the DcirhhfinA, and one- 
fourth to the GdljinL 

' If the DdrblifimA and larfinS have both become extinct, 
three-fourths of their dibad shall go to the Geilfind, and one- 
fourth to the Indfind. 

' If the Gdlfim and Indfine have both become extinct, 
three-fourths of the dibad of the GcilfiitA shall go to the 
Beirbhfin^, and one-fourth of it to the Iarfin4\ three-fourths 
of the dibad of the Indfind shall go to the larfind, and one- 
fourth to the Deirbhfin^J 

This seems to exhaust all possible combinations, and 
some provisions follow which are not very easily understood ; 
but when it is added, ' And the whole number of the seven- 
teen men are then forthcoming, and if they be not, there 
shall be no partition, but the nearest of kin shall take it,' 
the meaning seems to be that the group of seventeen persons 
must be made up in each case, but if that cannot be done, 
there is no partition of the dibad to the person nearest in 
degree to the extinct family. 

We are also told that ' the Geilfind is the youngest and 
the Indfine the oldest,' and that ' if one person has come up 
into the Geilfind so as to make it excessive, that is, more 
than five persons, a man must go out of it up into the 
Beirbh/ind, and a man is to pass from one Find into the 


other up as far as the Indfini, and a man is to pass from 
that into the Duthaig n-Daine or community.'^ 

It is exceedingly difficult to form anything like a clear 
conception of the true nature of what appears to be so highly 
artificial an arrangement, and it is probable that if it ever 
really existed in its entirety, it must soon have broken down 
under the various modifications which the natural progress of 
society brought to bear upon the community. So far as we 
can gather, there seems undoubtedly to have been the tie of 
kindred among themselves, and between them and the chief; 
and a portion of the territory of the Flath appears to have 
been assigned to them under the name of dibad, the portion 
occupied by each group being possessed in common by its 
members, so that it was only when the subordinate groups 
became extinct that a redistribution of it took place. 

Of what members of the Fine, then, did each of these Members 
groups really consist ? There seems to be no doubt as to the families. 
number which formed the members of each. The Geilfin^ 
consisted of five persons only, who were nearest of kin to the 
chief, but these might be found either in the descending or 
ascending line, or were, in the strictest sense of the term, 
collateral. The descending line was termed Belfine, and the 
Geilfin4 consisted of the father, the son, the grandson, the 
great-grandson, and the great-great-grandson, to the fifth 
generation. The ascending line was termed Gulfing, or back 
family, and we are told that, viewed in this connection, the 
Geilfin^ consisted of the father's brother, and his son, to the 
fifth generation.^*' The collateral relationship was termed 
Taobhfine, or side family ; and, according to Mr. O'Donovan 
and the authorities he refers to, the Geilfine is defined as 
' the first or direct family ; the father and his two sons, and 
two grandsons ; collateral tribe.' The DeirWifine as ' the 
second tribe; the next in point of dignity to the Gnlfin6\ 

^ A7icient Laivs of Ireland, vol. iii. pp. 330-35. ^^ Ibid. vol. ii. p. 163. 

180 THE FINjfi OR SEPT IN IRELAND, AND [book hi. 

the two grandsons and their two sons.' The larfim as ' the 
after family ; two sons of grandsons and their sons, making 
four persons ; ' and IndfiiK^ as ' the fourtli and lowest division 
of a tribe.' '^ He does not define the members of which it 
consists, but it may be inferred that he held it to consist of 
the two sons of great-grandsons and their sons, corresponding 
to the five generations of the Brehon Laws. 
The (leii- The father, who in each case was the head of the Geilfin4, 

fine chief. 

is evidently the person frequently referred to in these Laws as 
the GeiJfin6 chief, and the other four members of this group 
were evidently his nearest agnates, according to the position 
of the family, but the members of the other three groups, as 
presented to us in these Laws, cannot be viewed as his 
descendants. The Deirhlijini, larfine, and Indfin4, were 
obviously collateral and contemporary with the Geilfine, 
otherwise it is impossible that they could, on the one hand, 
have been jointly responsible for a kinsman, or, on the other, 
have shared in the succession of each as they became extinct ; 
and we can gather from several expressions in the Laws that 
such was the case. Thus we find in the Senchus Mor the 
seventeen persons are termed relatives, and are defined in 
the commentary as ' kinsmen ' {Blcogain)}- and these are 
distinguished as Tobach, Saigi, and Bleogain, or kinsmen in 
general.^^ In another commentary these terms are thus 
defined : ' Tohacli, that is, the nearest kinsman, that is, the 
liability of his son and grandson. Saigi, that is, the middle 
kinsman, that is, the liability of a kinsman as far as seventeen. 
Bleogain, that is, kinsman, that is, the farthest kinsman or 
€in.' ^* The first obviously refers to the constituent members 
of the Geilfine ; the second to the three other groups ; and 
the third to the remainder of the kin of the chief who did 
not belong to these artificial groups. 

'^ O'Donovan's Supplement to ^'^ Ancient Laics of Ireland, vol. i. 

O'Reilly's Irish Dictionary. p. 183. ^^ Ih. p. 259. " lb. p. 273. 


Again, we are told that ' the tribe property {Finntiu) is 
claimed backwards ; it is divided between three Fin4 ; an 
extern branch stops it, if the five persons perish. Except as 
regards the liability of relationship, if the family become 
extinct ; except a fourth part to the FindfinS. From seven- 
teen men out it is decided that they are not a Duthaig Fine, 
or tribe community,' and this is explained in the commentary 
to mean that ' the hereditary right of the Geilfin6 group goes 
backwards to the Deirbhfind, who have their share of it 
when it is divided among the three Fin6, that is, the dihad 
land is divided between the three Fine groups, viz., the 
DeirlhfinS, the Iarfin4, and the Indfine. An extern branch 
stops it, that is, the branch by which the land is detained is 
a branch that is hitherto extern to the Gcilfine, that is, the 
Deirhhfind! The liability of relationship is explained that, 
' as they share the dihad land, so they shall pay for the 
crimes of their relatives.' It is added that, ' from the seven- 
teen men out, it is then they are distinguished, so that they 
are not a Duthaig Fin6 or tribe community, but a Duthaig 
n-Daine, or a community of people.' ^^ 

From these notices it is apparent that there underlies 
the formation of these groups the idea of five generations. 
These were expressed by the terms Athair, father, Mac, son, 
Ua, grandson, Earmua, great-grandson, Innua, great-great- 
grandson, and that each of the four groups was one genera- 
tion less than the other, the Geiljin6, or white family, being 
the chief's immediate family, including himself;^'' but it 
must not be supposed that these degrees of relationship im- 
plied descent from the same individual, otherwise it would 
require that the five generations were alive at the same time. 
The idea rather is that it required five generations from the 
founder of the Find to complete the group of seventeen 
persons. Thus his own immediate family, to the number of 
^' Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. iv. p. 43. ^* Ibid. \i. 286. 


four, constituted his Gciljlii/'. Then as each new person was 
born into the Gcilfind, the older member passed into a new 
group termed Bdrhlifiifd, and this went on till the group 
extended to nine persons ; then, as new members were born 
to these two, older members passed into another group called 
larfind ; and so on, as new generations were added, till the 
group of Indfini was formed, and the whole number of seven- 
teen was comp eted, the members of each being fathers and 
sons, and representing the fourth and fifth generations from 
the common ancestor ; and as generations went on, the kin 
or kinsfolk of the chief passed through the alembic of these 
four groups and disappeared into the commonalty of the 
Find, leaving always a residuum of seventeen persons behind 
them. These relationships, then, meant not descent from 
the same individual but from the founder of the Fin4, and 
expressed the distance of each group from the stem-line of 
hereditary chiefs, and the degrees of relationship between 
them and the chief for the time being. This view of 
the degrees of relationship, as connected with the five 
generations, seems to be implied in one of the regulations 
regarding ' Saer stock tenure.' We are there told that ' if 
one chief has received stock from another, there shall be 
no returning of the Sacr stock without Seds, in that case 
until one heir transmits to another.' ' If it is from the 
chief next to him he has taken it, it is grandson upon 
grandson, or great-grandson upon great-grandson, or the 
son of a great-grandson upon the son of a great-grandson, 
and the number of degrees which are between the person 
who gave the stock and the person to whom it is given, is 
the number of relatives who shall claim the stock without 
Seds of Saer stock.' ^^ 

The Geilfini were thus what was termed youngest cadets ; 
and the Indjine, the oldest cadets, recognised as forming part 
" Ancient Laivs of Ireland, vol. ii. p. 269. 

CHAP, v.] 



of the kin, and as longest separated from the chief, were the 
most powerful family next to his own. 

The following table, in which the succession to the dihad 
land is included, will show this conception of the nature of 
these groups : — 

Common Ancestor, 
Geilfine Chief. 

Geilfine Chief. 

GeilfinS Chief. 




1. Geilfine chief, 
when complete. 

2, 3. Two sons. 

4, 5. Two grandsons. 

6, 7. Two 
8, 9. Thei] 


two sons. 



10, 11. Two great- 

12, 13. Their two sons. 


14, 15. Two great-great- 

16, 17. Their two sons. 


If extinct. 

Obtains 3-4ths. 

3-4ths of l-4th. 

l-4th of l-4th. 

Obtains 3-4th.s. 

If extinct. 

3-4ths of l-4th. 

l-4th of l-4th. 

3-4ths of l-4th. 


If extinct. 

l-4th of l-4th. 


3-4ths of l-4th. 


If extinct. 

If extinct. 

If extinct. 

3-4ths of both. 

l-4th of both. 

l-4thof both. 

3-4ths of both. 

If extinct. 

If extinct. 

3-4ths of both. 

If extinct. 

If extinct. 


If extinct. 

3-4ths of Geilf,ne. 
1 -4th of Indfine. 

l-4th of Geilfine. 
3-4ths of Indfine. 

If extinct. 

17 men must in this case be made up. 


It is hardly possible that so complicated a system should 
have long remained intact through all the changes produced 
in the social system of these tribes by the mere course of 
time ; and it probably, at least to some extent, broke doMui 
under the growing importance of the family of the oldest 
cadet, which became more and more independent the longer 
it was separated from that of the chief, and so would narrow 
the group which formed his kin ; and thus we see that as 
it became the most powerful family next to his, there came 
to be alternate election of the king or chief from these two 
families, the head of the one being always nominated Tanist 
to the other. 
Relation of Such being probably the nature of these groups, it be- 

Geilfine . , . , . 

chief to the comes necessary to examme their relation to the Tuath and 
that of the Flath Gdlfini or Gcilfin4 chief to the Pd Tuath. 
We find in the Senchus Mor the following statement : — 
' The head of each FinS, or the Ccannjini, should be the 
man of the Fini who is the most experienced, the most 
noble, the most wealthy, the wisest, the most learned, the 
most powerful to oppose, the most steadfast to sue for profits 
and for losses.' The two qualities of ' most noble ' in race 
and ' most wealthy ' in cattle can only be found united in 
the Flatli or chief, and he is expected to possess the rest. 
We therefore find in the commentary ' the head of each 
Fine' defined to be ' every one who is head chief of the Geil- 
fini.' We are then told that ' every person in a Tuath accepts 
equal stock or subsidy from the Flath Gdlfini or GeilfinS 
chief, and the Flath Gcilfine accepts stock or subsidy from 
the Bi Tuath, or else every person in the Tuath accepts it 
from the Hi Tuath, though it is from him that the Flath 
Geilfin4 takes his Flaithius or chiefship.' ^^ We have here 
an alternative statement. In the one the members of the 
tribe take stock from the GcUJini chief, that is, are his 
18 Ancient Laivs of Ireland, vol. ii. pp. 279, 281. 


dependants. In the other they take stock directly from the 
Bi Tiiatli. These statements represent different states of the 
tribe ; the older state, when the members of the tribe were 
equal and independent of each other, and the later when they 
had become dependent upon the Flath or chief ; but both 
might exist at the same time, some taking stock from the 
chief and some from the king. There was this distinction 
between the chief and the king as regards 8aer stock tenure, 
that the connection between the Flatli and the CdU was 
based upon contract, and the connection which was freely 
entered into might be dissolved by either party ; but we are 
told in the Gain tsaorrthadh or law of Sacr stock tenure, ' a 
man need never accept of Daer stock from any other unless 
he likes it himself, and he need not accept even of Sacr stock 
from any but his own king, and he cannot refuse taking Saer 
stock from his own king.' And further, ' he cannot separate 
from his own king at any time, either while he holds by Saer 
stock tenure or by Bacr stock tenure.' ^^ And in the Cain 
Aigillnc or law of Dacr stock tenure we read, ' The law does 
not require of a man to accept of Daer stock from his own 
chief or from an extern chief, or from his own king or from 
an extern king, but the law requires of him to take Saer stock 
from his own king. If he takes Daer stock, it should be from 
his own king.' -^ 

This power which the Ri Tuatli possessed of forcing the 
members of the tribe to become his dependants in Saer stock 
tenure, and of retaining them permanently, enabled him to 
increase his dependants to any extent; and besides the 
Ceile whom he thus gathered around him he likewise settled 
FuidUr or stranger septs upon his waste land in proportion 
to the extent of his territory and the amount of his wealth. 
He thus not only occupied the position of Pd Titath or 
king of the tribe, with all its rights and privileges, but 
^^ Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. ii. pp. 209, 211. -" Ih. pp. 223-5. 

186 THE riNl<^ OK SEPT IN IRELAND, AND [book m. 

was likewise the Flaih or cliief of the most powerful sept 
within it. 

The Flath Gcilfin6 or Gcilfird chief was likewise the 
chief of an entire Fin^ or sept. This is implied in a passage 
in the tract ' Of the judgment of every crime,' where we are 
told that ' the reason why the crime goes upon the Deirhh- 
faii and the larfin^ before it goes upon the Flath or chief, 
is because it is one chief that is over them, the Flath Geilfindy 
and he is chief of four Fin^s or groups.' Another passage 
in the Book of Aicill also shows that he was next in rank and 
power to the king, for it apportions the fines for injuring the 
roads of a Tuath between the Pa or king and the Flath Geil- 
fini, and adds, ' What is the reason that there is more due to 
the Pd Tuath for injuring his principal road than his by-road, 
and that there is more due to the Gciljin^ chief for injuring 
his by-road than his principal road ? The reason is, the 
principal road is more the peculiar property of the Pd Tuath 
than the by-road, and the by-road is more the peculiar pro- 
perty of the Flath Gciljini than the principal road.' -^ 

Where then are we to recognise the Flath Gcilfind among 
the Aires of a Tuath of the Gracl Flath ? The Gcilfin6 
chief, as we see, received his stock or subsidy direct from 
the Ri Tuath, but there were only two of the Aires who 
were in this position, and in this respect the Aires of a 
Tuath fall into two divisions. The Aire Desa and the Aire 
Arcl received their stock from a Flath, but the Aire Tuise 
and the Aire Forgaill from the Bi Tuath direct, and it is in 
this latter division we have to look for the Flatli Gcilfini. 
The Aire Forgaill was the highest grade of the Aires, and is 
said to be so named ' because it is he that testifies {Fortgella) 
to the grades in every case in which denial of a charge is 
sought, and because his quality is superior to that of his 
fellows ; ' while the Aire Tuise is said to be so called ' because 
-1 Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. iii. p. 309. 


his race has precedence/ or, as it may be more literally ren- 
dered, 'because he is Tuisech or leader from race' (Toisech 
a Cinnd)P The former, as the superior of the two, may 
probably be viewed as the Flath Gcilfi7i6 or Geilfind chief, and 
exercised the judicial functions of a chief ; while the latter, 
as the oldest cadet, led the forces of the clan when called 
out either by the chief or by the king on a Sluaged or hosting. 

Although the position of Flath or chief of a sept, as well Law of 
as that of Ri Tuath or head of the whole tribe, was hereditary 
in the family but elective in the person, there can be little 
doubt that the senior of the family, as representing the 
founder of it, was usually elected as entitled to the position, 
unless disqualified by some defect mental or physical, and 
this principle is recognised in the tract on Succession, where 
it is thus laid down : — 'The senior with the Fin6 or sept, dignity 
with the Flath or chief, wisdom with the Fclais or church ; ' 
and this rule is thus illustrated in the commentary : 'Ignorance 
was set aside for wisdom in the orders of the church. An 
Aitcch or tenant of the Grad Feind was set aside for a Flath 
or chief, a junior was set aside for the senior, that is, the 
person who is junior shall rise or walk out of the kingship or 
the abbacy or the Geilfind chiefship before the person who is 
senior.' And again — ' Age is rewarded by the Fdn6, for 
where there are two Aires or lords of the same family who 
are of equal dignity and property, the senior shall take prece- 
dence.' And again — ' The senior is entitled to noble election,' 
but ' if the kings be equally old and good, lots are to be cast 
between them respecting the kingship, but if one of them is 
older than the other he shall go into it.' Finally, it is laid 
down that ' the junior shares and the senior is elected,' and 
that ' it is according to desert they come into power, and it is 
according to the goodness of the brancli itself and the good- 
ness of the grade also, and the most worthy person of the 

-- Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 325, 326. 


branch shall go into it, that is, the best person of that branch. 
And the head of all according to the dcra of the Fini, 
that is, that every one who is a head should be afterwards 
according to the FItU.' 

The following commentary on the qualities required in a 
chief further illustrates the principles on which the selection 
is made : — ' The noblest, that is, in age or in race {Cencl). 
The highest, that is, in grade. The wealthiest, that is, in 
ploughing and reaping. The shrewdest, that is, in wisdom or 
in mind. The wisest, that is, in learning. Popular as to com- 
purgation, that is, who has good friends with compurgators, 
that is, good friends outside the territory adhering to him. 
The most powerful to sue, that is, to prosecute for each of 
them. The most firm to sue for profits, that is, of the 
clibacl property. And losses, that is, liabilities.' Finally, ' the 
body of each is his Fin6, that is, the body of each person 
who is head is his Fin4. There is no body without a head, 
that is, of themselves, over them, according to law.'-^ It 
was the operation of this rule that led to brothers being 
preferred to sons, and when there was alternate succession 
the collateral in the same degree was preferred to the son 
of his predecessor, as being one degree nearer to the common 
siuaged or The regulations for compelling attendance upon the 
Sluaged or hosting still further illustrate the relations be- 
tween the king and the chief of a sept. They are contained 
in the Book of Aicill, and are as follows : — ' If a man of the 
Grad Flath, with his Daev Ccile, came away from it (that is, 
the hosting), or if the Ceile came away from it, if ordered by 
the chief, Honor price shall be paid for it, half of which goes 
to the king of the province and the other half is divided into 
three parts ; one third goes to the king who is nearest the 
king of the province in upward gradation (that is, the king 
of a Mortuath), one-third to the Bi Tuath who is over those 
-^ Ancient La%vs of Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 373, 375. 


below, and one-third to the chiefs and intermediate chiefs 
(Flathaibh) who are between them in the middle/ by which 
latter distinction the two divisions of the Aires of the Grad 
Flath are intended. 

' If it was a man of the Grad Flath and one Ceile that 
came away from it, Honor price is to be paid for it also ; and 
the share which the Ceile should pay, if all the Ceile had 
been concerned in it, is what he is to pay now, and the re- 
mainder is to be paid by him (that is, the chief), and the 
same division is made of the half for the king of the pro- 
vince, and the other half is divided into three parts.' 

' If it was the Ceile themselves that came away from it 
without the chief's leave, the Smacht fine or Honor price, 
which is due for it, is to be paid by them ; one-third of it 
goes to the king of the province, and one-third to the chief 
whose Ceile came away, and the other third is to be divided 
into three parts, one-third of which goes to the king of the 
TuatJi who is over them, and one third to the chiefs and in- 
termediate chiefs who are in the middle between them ; ' to 
which is added, ' Whenever it is Smacht fine that is paid, it 
shall be paid according to the rank of the person who pays 
it; and whenever Honor price is paid, it shall be paid 
according to the rank of the person to whom it is paid.' 

' What is the reason that there is a greater fine upon the 
Grad Flath for not going to the hosting than upon the Grad 
Fein41 The reason is. The hosting or the Dun-building 
suffers a greater loss from the absence of the Grad Flath 
than from that of the Grad Feini, and they are more needed, 
and it is right there should be a greater fine upon them.' 
'What is the reason that there is a greater fine imposed 
upon them for coming away from it than for not going to 
it % The reason of it is. It is more dangerous for the king to 
be deserted outside in an enemy's territory, than that they 
should not go out with him at first.' -■* 

-^ Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. iii. pp. 495, 497. 


Fosterage. The tie between the chiefs and their dependants was still 
further strengthened by tlie custom of fosterage, by which the 
children of the upper classes were intrusted to a family be- 
longing to the inferior ranks to be brought up and trained 
along with their own children. This custom prevailed from 
an early period among the Irish tribes, but it is obvious that 
such an institution could only have arisen after the distinc- 
tion of ranks had been fully organised in the tribe. The 
influence of early association with the earlier stage in the 
constitution of the tribe, when its free members were in a state 
of independence and equality with each other, may have led 
to their regarding the children under age, and before they had 
acquired any independent rights and privileges, as occupying 
no better position, and so created a sentiment that they ought 
to be trained along with the children of a lower rank, long 
after the reality which gave rise to the feeling had ceased to 
exist. Be this as it may, we find the institution in full oper- 
ation in these Ancient Laws, and the regulations connected 
with it forming part of the Senchus Mor. According to it 
there were two kinds of fosterage with the Fin4 which had 
not been annulled — fosterage for affection, and fosterage for 
payment. The clothing and the food of the children given 
to the inferior families to foster is minutely regulated. Those 
of the children of the Grad Fein6 were to be black or yellow 
or grey, and old clothes were to be worn by the sons of an 
Ogaire, and new by the sons of a Boaire. The sons of an 
Aire desa were to wear clothes of a different colour every day, 
and of two different colours on Sunday, and to have both old 
and new clothes. The sons of the superior chiefs were to 
wear clothes of two colours every day, both old and new, and 
new clothes of two colours on Sunday ; while the sons of the 
Aire Forgill, the highest of all, and of the king, were to have 
new coloured clothes at all times, and all embroidered with 
gold and silver. How far such regulations were ever prac- 


tically observed may well be doubted, but those regarding 
food are probably enough. Porridge ^^ was to be given to 
them all, but the materials of which it is made and the 
flavouring vary according to the rank of the parents of the 
children. The sons of the inferior grades are fed to bare suffi- 
ciency on porridge made of oatmeal and butter-milk or water 
taken with salt butter. The sons of chiefs are fed to satiety 
on porridge made of barley-meal, upon new milk with fresh 
butter. The sons of kings are fed on porridge made of flour, 
upon new milk taken with honey. The food of all, however, 
was alike, till the end of a year or of three years. 

The price of the fosterage of the son of an Ogairc is three 
Scds or three Samhaiscs, that is, three-year-old heifers ; and 
for his daughter four Scds, a Sed in addition being given for 
the daughter, because the household arrangements for her 
accommodation are more extensive than for the sons. This 
was the lowest price given, and the Fer Midhwid, or man of 
the humblest rank, could not perform the fosterage for less. 
The boys were to be taught the herding of lambs, calves, kids, 
and young pigs, and kiln-drying, combing, and wood-cutting ; 
and the daughters the use of the quern, the kneading-trough, 
and the sieve. The price of the fosterage of the son of a 
Boaire was five Seds, or three cows. The price of the foster- 
age of the son of an Aire was ten Scds, and instruction in 
the usual sciences is given him ; that is, the sons were taught 
horsemanship, &?Tm?i-playing, shooting, chess-playing, and 
swimming ; and the daughters sewing and cutting-out, and 
embroidery. The price of the fosterage of the son of a king 
was thirty Seds, and the foster-sons were to have horses 
in time of races, and the foster-father was bound to teach 
them horsemanship. 

-= The word Lite is translated land, and the Scotch correlative 
in the Brehon Laws ' stirabout,' but ' porridge ' has been substituted, 
this is a term unknown out of Ire- 


The relationsliip thus formed was considered most 
friendly, and was connected with the Geilfin4 relationship, 
but the passage which states it is so obscure that it is diffi- 
cult to attach a definite meaning to it. The children re- 
mained with the foster-father till the boys were seventeen 
and the girls fourteen. The age of the boys was divided into 
three periods. The first extended till he was seven years old ; 
the second from seven to twelve years, and the third till 
he was seventeen. During the first period the foster-father 
might punish him for faults with castigation, and during the 
second with castigation without food, but for his first fault 
there were to be three threatenings without castigation, and 
after the age of twelve he had to make compensation in the 
usual way, with regard to which there are many minute 
regulations. On the termination of the fosterage the foster- 
father returned the children with a parting gift, which was 
regulated according to the Honor price ; and in return, the 
foster-son was bound to maintain his foster-father in sickness 
or old age, in the same manner as he would maintain his 
own father and mother. 

Such were the leading features of the system of fosterage 
as presented to us in the Senchus Mor.-^ 
Later state The ancient topographical descriptions of some of the ter- 
Fines. ritorics in the three provinces of Munster, Connaught, and 
Ulster, which have been printed by the Irish Archseological 
and Celtic Society, and which have been already referred to 
as affording illustrations of the tribe system, so far as pre- 
served, likewise indicate the existence of the Find or sept. 
Thus in the district of Corca Laiclhe in Munster, which 
consisted of eight Tuaths or tribe territories, in describing 
the district of Cuil-Cearnadha, it is added, ' These are its 
hereditary tribes (Fineadha duchusa), O'Eothlain its Tois- 
each, and Ua Cuinn, Ua larnain, and Ua Finain,' three septs. 

-^ Ancient Laios of Ireland, vol. ii. pp. 147-193. 


Again, of the country or Duthaich of Gillamichil, which 
formed a Tuath, we are told, ' These were its hereditary 
leaders {Odaich Duthaich), O'Duibharda, O'Dunlaing, Oh- 
Ogain, O'Dubhagau/ etc. It is iinnecessary to go through the 
whole of them, or the Odaich Duthaich of the other Tuaths, 
as Mr. O'Donovan adds a note which sufticiently explains 
their relation to the tribe. He says that these Oglaich ' were 
the petty chiefs, Kenfinies or heads of families,' properly 
septs, ' who held their lands by the same right of descent 
from t]ie common ancestor as the chief, or rather Toiseacli, 
himself ; and they were called ' Oglaich, young heroes, be- 
cause they were bound to assist him in his wars against his 
enemies at the heads of their respective clans.' ""^ 

We have some information, too, regarding the FinS or sept 
in Connaught. Thus in the ' Tribes and Customs of Hy 
riachraich ' we read that Fiachra, son of Eochaidh Muighmh- 
eadhoin, Ardri of Erin, colonised this district, and had a son, 
Amhalgaidh, from whose son, Fedhlim, sprang the Cineal 
Fedhlimidh, which consisted of ' Ceallachain, Caithniadh, 
Mac Coinin, Muimhneachain, Mac Ehionain, Geara- 
dhain, O'Conboirne, These are the Cineal Fedhlimidh of 
Jorrus.' The Cineal Feidhlimidh here is the tribe occupy- 
ing a Tuath, and the others are the Fin6 or septs of which 
it was composed. Then from ' Aongus, son of Amhalgaidh, 
came the Cineal Aongusa in Hy- Amhalgaidh, viz., Muirea- 
dhaigh, Taoisig of the Lagan.' Here we have the Taoiscch at 
the head of the Cineal or tribe, and then we are told that ' of 
the descendants of Aongus are the people of Dun Finne, or 
fort of the Fin6, viz. Cuinn, MagOdhrain, Comhdhan, 
O'Duibhlearga, Bearga, Blighe, Duanma or Duan- 
maigh ; ' and these were the Fin6 or septs. Amhalgaidh had 
other sons by Earca, daughter of Eochaidh, king of Leinster, 
the eldest of whom was Fergus, and his son Muireadhach 

'^ Genealach Corca Laidhe, Miscellany of the Celtic Society, pp. 31, 49. 


194 THE FIN^ Oil SEPT IN IRELAND, AND [book hi. 

was Rig Ua n-Amhalgaidh, or king of Hy-Amhalgaidh. The 
descendants of this Muireadhach possessed ' the Tnoclia 
Ceud of Bac and of Gleann Nemthinne, and the half Triocha 
Ceud of Breiidach. These are the hereditary tribes (Fi/iea- 
dhoigh Dudhchusa) of Bac, viz., Lachtna, Taoisioc of the 
two Bacs and of the Gleann, and of them Dubhagain and 
the Clann Firbisigh, Maoilniaidh of Ardachaidh, and 
O'Cuirain of Lios Cuimin on the Muaidh. These are the 
families or septs (Fincada) of Breudach, viz., Toghda, 
Taoiseach of Breudach, Glaimin, Luachaidh, and 
Gilin.' ^^ Here we have two groups of Fin^ or septs, with 
a Toisech at the head of each. Lastly, from Aougus Fionn, an- 
other son of Amhalgaidh, are O'Gaibhtheachan, OTlainn, and 
O'Maoilhiona, chiefs (Flaifhe) of Calraighe Muighe h-Eleag. 
In one of MacFirbis's tracts he deduces the tribes and septs 
descended from Brian, the son and successor of Eochaidh 
Muighmeadoin, king of Connaught. He is said to have had 
twenty-four sons, and from Echeau. one of them, descended 
the Cind n-Echean or tribe of Echean, consisting of the septs 
of O'Biasta, O'Bli, O'Caisleorach, O'Euanuidhen, and O'Fion- 
nucaiu. From Fergus came the Cinel Fergusa of Echtge, 
consisting of the septs of O'Brain, O'Bruachain, O'Conrethe, 
and O'Cairriodha, Taoiseaclis of Cinel Fergusa. From Ere 
Dearg, or the Eed, came the Cinel Deirg in Connaught; 
from Esse or Essile came the Tuath Esille ; from Aongus 
are the Cind n-Aongnsa of Galway, that is, the O'Hallo- 
rans with their branches ; from Tenedh the Corco- Tcnedh, 
and Muichead, from whom Corco-Muichead ; from Cana, 
the O'Cananans in Uaithne ; Neachtain, from Tir Neach- 
tain, with their septs {Fineadhaihh) ; two Carbrys, viz., 
Carbry Conrith, from whom is descended St. Barry of Core, 
and Carbry Aircheann, from whom the Hy Briuin Piatha in 
West Connaught ; three Conalls, viz., Conall Oirisin, from 
-8 Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy Fiachraich, pp. 6-11. 


whom the men of Umalia, Coiiall Gluii, from whom the 
O'Monahans, Taoiseachs of the three Tuaths, and Conall 
Cortaine, from whom the 'O'Maolduibh ; Eochaidh, from 
whom the Cinel n-Eachach ; and Enna Eamalach, from 
whom Cinel n-Eanna ; Duach Galach, the youngest, from 
whom the kings of Eath Cruachan are descended.' ^^ 

In the province of Ulster we find, besides the Tuatlis 
which formed the subdivisions of the larger districts and were 
equivalent to the tribe territories, that in some a smaller 
division is mentioned termed a Cinernent. Thus in the dis- 
trict of the Glynnes, consisting of seven subdivisions, six are 
termed Tuoghs or Tuaths, and one is the ' Cynamond of 
Armoy and Raghlin,' containing the parish of Armoy and the 
island of Rathlin. Again, among the Tuoghs in North 
Clandeboy we find the * Cinamcnt of Knockboynabrade ; ' the 
' Cinamcnt of Duogh Connor,' containing the sixteen towns 
of Connor ; the Cinamcnt of Kilmahevet ; the Cinamcnt of 
Ballinowre, represented by the modern parish of Ballinowre, 
and containing 8000 acres ; the Cinamcnt of Carntall, Monks- 
land, and Carnemony ; the Cinamcnt of Dirrevolgie, alias 
Fealaogh ; and the Cinamcnt of Clandermot, containing four 
Ballys or townlands.^° This word Cinament is derived from 
Cine, a sept, and Minand, a habitation or residence, and 
these smaller districts were obviously the possessions of septs 
or Fin^s which had become detached from their tribe, and 
thus we find the name of the Clan Dermot connected with 
one of them. Again, we find the Barony of Lower Castle- 
reagh in South Clandeboy consisted of five smaller territories 
termed Slut Henrickies, Slut Kellies, Slut Hugh Bricks, Slut 
Bryan Boye, Skit Durnings, and Slut Owen mac Quin, the 
last two forming one district ; but this word Slut is the Irish 
Sliocht or sept, and the names are corrupted from Sliocht 

-■' Description of West Connaught, p. 127. 

■'" Reeves's Ecdes. Antiquities of Down and Connor, pp. 332, 345. 

196 THE FINli Oli SEPT IN IRELAND, AND [book hi. 

Enri Caoirh, or the sept of Henry the Blind ; Sliocht Cml- 
Inir/h, or sept of the Kellies ; Sliocht Aodh hreac, or sept 
of Hugh the Freckled ; Slioclit Briuin huidhc, or sept of 
Brian the Yellow ; Sliocht Owen mhic Cuinn, or sept of 
Owen son of Conn/'^ 

Sir Jolin Davis, in his Letter to the Earl of Salisbury, 
written about the same time, gives us a very clear account of 
the position of these septs in the counties of Fermanagh and 
Cavan. In Fermanagh he derived his information from cer- 
tain of the clerks or scholars of that country, who knew all 
the septs and families and their branches, and the dignity of 
one sept above another, and what families or persons were 
chief of every sept, and who were next, and who were of third 
rank, and so forth, till they descended to the most inferior 
man in all the barony. Moreover, they took upon them to 
tell ' what quantity of land every man ought to have by the 
custom of their country, which is of the nature of gavelkind, 
whereby, as their septs or families did multiply, their posses- 
sions have been from time to time divided and subdivided, 
and broken into so many small parcels as almost every acre 
of land had a several owner, who termeth himself a lord and 
his portion of land his country.' ' Notwithstanding, as 
McGuire himself had a chiefry over all the country, and 
some demesne that did ever pass to him only who carried 
that title, so was there a chief of every sept who had certain 
services, duties, and demesnes that ever passed to the Tanist 
of that sept, and never was subject to division.' And in his 
return of the state of the county of Cavan he gives the follow- 
ing general account : — ' In the Irish countries, where the 
custom of Tanistry is not extinguished, the tenures are every- 
where alike. There is first a general chieftain of every 
country or territory, which hath some demesne and some 
household provisions yielded unto him by all the inhabitants 
^1 Reeves's Domi and Connor, p. 348. 


under him ; every sept or suruame hath a particular chieftain 
or Tanist, which hath likewise his peculiar demesne and 
duties, and these possessions go by succession or election, 
entirely without any division ; but all the other lands holden 
by the inferior inhabitants are partable in course of gavel- 
kind, wherein there is no difference made between legitimate 
sons and bastards.' ^- 

Such, then, being the leading features of the Tuath or The Tiibe 
tribe, and the Fini or sept, so far as we can gather them 
from the Ancient Laws of Ireland, aud as we find them exem- 
plified in the later condition of the country, which it is 
essential for our purpose to indicate, we must now pass over 
to the mainland of Great Britain, and examine how far we 
can likewise trace them in the Ancient Laws of its Welsh 
population; and here we see clearly enough that a tribal 
system possessing in the main the same characteristics lies at 
the foundation of their social organisation. It was likewise 
modified in the main by the same influences, but that of the 
Church was earlier encountered, and it could hardly escape 
being affected by another influence to which the Irish tribe 
was not exposed, viz., that of the Eoman institutions during 
the period when the Welsh population formed a part of the 
Eoman province — an influence, liowever, wliich would be more 
intense in the southern and eastern districts, and more super- 
ficial in the mountainous region of the west, and in the 
frontier districts between the Eoman walls, whose Welsh 
population afterwards formed the kingdom of Strathclyde. 

The Welsh codes which have been preserved are those of 
Gwynedd or North Wales, and Dyved and Gwent, the west 
and east divisions of South Wales. Besides these we have 
some fragments of Commentaries printed under the title of 
Anomalous Laws, and we have also the advantage of possess- 
ing a Latin version of the Laws of Dyved, which gives us the 
'- Collect, de Reb. Hih., vol. i. pp. 164, 169. 

198 THE FINfi OR SEPT IN IRELAND, AND [book hi. 

equivalent of the Welsh terms in the Latin of the feudal 
charters. The oldest of these codes are certainly the Laws 
of Gwynedd or North Wales, and they recognise tlie influ- 
ence of the Church as establishing the sanction of marriage, 
requiring legitimacy in the sons, and introducing a law of 
primogeniture in the succession to land which did not exist 
in the Irish system, when it declares, ' An innate Bon-eddiy 
is a person who shall be complete as to origin in Wales 
both by the mother and by the father. The ecclesiastical 
law says again that no son is to have the patrimony but 
the eldest born to the father by the married wife.' The rule 
was not, however, universally accepted, for it is added, ' The 
law of Howel, however, adjudges it to the youngest son 
as well as to the oldest.'^^ 

These laws present to us the Cymric people, or Welsh 
population, who still maintained their independence, as in a 
more advanced stage of organisation than the Irish tribes are 
exhibited in the Brehon Laws. We find the land divided 
into Talaeth, or provinces, each under its Brenhin, or king, 
similarly to that of Ireland, and all under a Brenhin 2)cn- 
rhaifh, or supreme king ; but while we can trace the original 
function of the king as judge of his people, the position of 
king had assumed a more modern aspect both as relates to 
his power and authority, and to his rights in connection with 
the land. The whole people are termed the Cenedl y Gymry, 
or race of the Cymry, and we can see that the organisa- 
tion of each province was based upon an earlier tribal 
system, and that it must have been formed by a confedera- 
tion of tribes similar to that of the Irish province. Indications 
of this earlier tribal system appear to be contained in ' The 
Heads of the Social State ' attributed to Dyvnwal Moelmud, 
a mythic king. These tribes appear as Llwylh a Cenedl. 
We find also the same distinction of the people into bond 
^ Ancient Laws of Wale.% p. 86. 


and free, Caitliion and Bydyon, the Latin equivalents of 
which were Nativi and Liberi, the latter alone representing 
the ancient free members of the tribe. These are termed 
in the Laws Boneddic Canmvynawl. They were pure Cymri 
both by father and mother, and the Latin equivalent was 
nobilis ingenims. The head of the tribe was the Pencenedl, 
or prefedus generis, who is still recognised as a functionary 
in these Laws. According to the Triads of the Social State, 
the Pencenedl must be the oldest in the Cenedl so far as the 
ninth degree of kindred, who is in full strength of body and 
mind. The same process which in the case of the Irish 
tribe had created a class of territorial lords or Flaith, no 
doubt gave rise to the similar class whom we find fully 
developed in the Welsh law. These were the Uchclwyr or 
Breyr, sometimes termed Mab Uchelwyr, just as the Irish 
riaith appear as Mac Oclaich, and their Latin equivalent 
was O'ptvmates. When a family succeeded in retaining pos- 
session of the same portion of land for a certain period, they 
were recognised as proprietors of it, and entered the class 
of territorial lords. Thus in the Laws of Gwynedd, ' Who- 
soever shall claim land and soil by kin and descent, let him 
show his kin and descent from the stock from whence he is 
derived ; and if he be a fourth man, he is a proprietor because 
a fourth man becomes a proprietor ;' and in the Laws of 
Gwent, ' a dadenhudd is the tilling by a person of land tilled 
by his father before him. In the fourth degree a person be- 
comes a proprietor, — his father, his grandfather, his great- 
grandfather, and himself the fourth.'^* The servile class 
consisted of two kinds. First, those of native race termed 
Tacog or Villcmus, and the Caeth or predial serf. The former 
class was analogous to the Bae7' Ceile or bond tenants, and 
the latter to the Sencleithe of the Irish. 

Besides the occupiers of the soil, who were native mem- 
'^ Ancient Laics of Wales, pp. 84, 268. 

200 THE FINE on SEPT IN lUELAND, AND [hook hi. 

bers of tlie tribe, there was a class of foreign settlers analo- 
gous to the Fiddhir of the Irish, who were termed Alltudion 
or strangers, and were settled on the waste lands. 

The land which formed originally the common property 
of the tribe now appears as consisting of the Tir Ckoelyawg 
or inheritance land, similar to the Irish Orha. Part was 
held in demesne and cultivated by the Alltudion or stranger 
villains, and the Caethio7i, or prasdial serfs ; and part occu- 
pied by the Taeog, or native members of the tribe, who had 
become his tenants. There was also the Tir Bivrdd or 
mensal land, and the Tir CyUadus or geldable land, also 
termed Tir Cyfrif or register land, which was divided among 
the Aillt or native members of the tribe.^^ The mode in 
which the land w^as occupied will, however, be better under- 
stood in connection with the system of land measurement 
which appears in these laws. 

It is thus given in the Laws of Gwynedd. The smallest 
denomination of land was the Erio or acre. It was a ridge 
of land. The measure was what was termed the long yoke 
of sixteen feet, the breadth consisted of two yokes, and 
the length was thirty times its breadth. It thus contained 
3413 square yards, that is, somewhat less than three-fourths 
of an imperial acre. The basis of this system is the number 
four. Four of these Erirs formed a Tyddyn or man's house, 
that is, the homestead of a single family, and four Tyddyns 
made a Ea^idir or division of land. Four Randirs formed 
a Gavael, and four Gavaels the Trcf or townland. Four 
Trefs made a Maenawl. Twelve Macnmvls and two Trcfa 
formed a Cyiiiwd, and two Cymwds a Cantrcv, so called 
because it thus contained one hundred Trefs. The Cymiod, 
however, appears to be the true unit in this system, for 
we are told that the two Trefs which it contained, besides 
the twelve Maenawls, were for the use of the Brenin or king. 
^ Ancient Laws of Wales, 82, 5, 6 ; 697, 5. 


One was his Macrtrev land, and the other for his waste and 
summer pasture. There were thus, we are told, four legal 
Erws of tillage in every Tyddyn ; sixteen in every Randir ; 
sixty-four in every Gavael ; two hundred and fifty-six in the 
Tref ; one thousand and twenty-four in every Macnawl ; 
twelve thousand two hundred and eighty-eight in the twelve 
Maenaids. In the two Trcfs which pertain to the court are 
to be five hundred and twelve Ervjs ; the whole of that, when 
summed up, is twelve thousand and eight hundred Erivii in 
the Cijm.wdf^ or about 9600 imperial acres. 

Tlie Tref thus, in the main, corresponds to the Ballyhoe 
or ploughgate of the Irish system, and the fifty Trefs of the 
Cymiod were thus distributed among the people. Sixteen 
Trefs formed the Tir Cyfrif or register land, occupied by the 
Bonedic or free members of the tribe. Eight Trcfs, or two 
Maenaivls, were assigned to the Cynghellawr and the Maer who 
represented the king in the Cymwd, and divided the register 
land among the people. Twenty-four Trcfs, or six Maenaivls, 
were the Tir Givelyaivg or inheritance land, possessed by the 
free Uchchvyr ; and the two Trcfs which remained over were 
the king's Tir Bwrdd or mensal land. Under the Uchelwyr 
there was a similar distribution of land, and it is obvious 
that what was originally the common land of the tribe, had 
now come to be viewed as the property of the king ; and the 
Bonedic, or original free occupiers of the land, now appear as 
the king's Aillts. Though, like the Irish Ccile, they came to 
occupy a dependent position in relation to the superior, their 
original mode of occupation of the soil remained unchanged, 
and the Macr and Cynghcllavjr are directed to share this 
land equally between all in the Tref or township, and on 

•■*" Ancient Lavs of Wales, \)^. 96, yoke. In the latter case the Eru- 

97. It is not quite clear whether would contain only 1706 square 

the length of an Eric is thirty times yards, or rather more than tlie 

its breadth, or thirty times the long third of an acre. 

202 THE FINl5 OR SKIT IN IHELAND, AND [book hi. 

that account it is called Tir Cyfrif or register land. On 
the other hand, the sons succeeded equally to the Tir 
Chuelyaivg or inheritance land, and if they failed, it went 
to their first and second cousins, after whom there was 
no further division, a succession very similar to the Irish 

This system of land-measures was not, however, uniform, 
for we are told that Bleddyn, a prince of Gwynedd and Powis, 
altered the size of the Tycldyn or smallest holding from four 
Erivs to twelve Erivs when held by an Uclielwr, eight Envs 
when held by an Aillt, and four when held by a Godaeog or 
superior Taeog^"^ and in the Laws of Dyved we find a still 
greater variety. In these laws the Trcf or township in the 
free manors is to consist of four Bandirs, instead of sixteen as 
in the Laws of Gwynedd, and the Bandir is to contain three 
hundred and twelve Enus, ' so that the owner may have in 
the three hundred Erics arable pasture and fuel wood and 
space for buildings on the twelve Erws.' The Enu, however, 
is smaller than that in the Laws of Gwynedd, for while it is 
of the same breadth, viz., the long yoke of sixteen feet, it is 
only sixteen times as long in place of thirty. Again, in place 
of the Macnawl containing a uniform quantity of four Trefs, 
the lowland Maenaiol, where the land is more fertile, is to 
consist of seven Trefs, and the upland 3Iaenaivl thirteen.^ 
The land-measures as given in the Code of Gwent are very 
similar, but with some variations. There is the same direc- 
tion that there are to be four Bandirs in the Tref, and three 
hundred and twelve Erws in the Bandir, but the Erw con- 
tains eighteen rods of eighteen feet in place of sixteen yokes 
in the length, and there are to be thirteen Trefs in every 
Maenaiol, except those of the Taeog Trefs, which contain only 
seven. Of the four Bandirs in the free Tref three are for 
occupancy and the fourth pasturage for the three ; but in 
^" Ancient Laws of Wales, p. SI. -^^ lb., p. 263. 


the Taeog Trcf there are only three Eandirs, the third being 
pasturage for the other two.^*^ 

The original rights of the free members of the tribe, on 
which their possession of the register land is based, are thus 
defined in the Triads of the Social State : — ' There are three 
original rights of every native Welshman {Cymro Cynivhy- 
naivl, — first, the possession, without restriction, of five Erws 
of land ; second, a right of determining the constitutional law 
of the country under protection and in right of the Pcn- 
ccnedl ; and third, a right to the freedom of the country in 
general, that is to say, that he be free to go whither he will 
without loss of privilege or verdict, unless when in actual 
service of the country, or of a court of law.'**^ 

The burdens upon the land and its possessors were as 
follows : — The sixteen Trefs in the Cymwcl possessed by the 
Aillt paid a rent in kind, termed Daionhwyd, which was 
similar to the Biatad or food-rent of the Irish system, and 
were subject to the Cylch and Dovraith of the superior, 
or refection and quartering, equivalent to the Conmcdha 
or Coigny of the Irish. From the Trcfs possessed by the 
Uclielwyr, and the two manors belonging to the Macr 
and Cynghcllawr, the king received a Crivestva or food- 
rent, which corresponds to the Bestighi or food -rent of 
the house paid by every rank in the Irish tribe to the Bi 
Tucith; but in the Welsh system the payment in kind 
was, in part, commuted for a money payment, and we find 
no trace of the subsidy or gift of stock by the superior, in 
proportion to the return in the shape of food-rent, which 
characterises the whole relations of the different grades in 
the Irish tribe to each other.^^ 

Besides these regular burdens, there were two that may 
be termed casual. These were the Ehidiw or relief, payable 

■'^ Ancient Laivs of Wales, p. 375. 

■*» Myvyrian Arch., vol. iii. p. 298, No. SO. ^^ lb., pp. 88, 96, 573. 


to the superior by the heir of a defunct vassal ; and secondly, 
the Amohr, Gohr Merch, or maiden fee, that is, a fee paid to 
the superior by the person subject to that payment on the 
marriage of a daughter. ]>y the Welsh laws the Amohyrs 
of the daughters are said to be of equal amount with the 
Ehidiws of their fathers, and there were three Ehidiivs — an 
Ehidiw of a pound, an Ehidiw of six score pence, and an 
Ebidiw of three score pence. The first was paid by the 
principal officers of the palace — by the Pencenedl and by 
the officers of the country, the Maer and the Cynghellmm-. 
The second by the superior officers, the Uchelwr or Breyr, 
and the Givahalaeth or son of a lord ; and the third by the 
king's Tacog, an Arddehvman and an Alltud whom the king 
has enfranchised.*^ 
Fines for Another important feature of the Irish tribe system is 

aug ei. g^g^g^jy reflected in the Welsh laws. The compensation for 
every injury, from the slaughter of a member of the tribe to 
the smallest loss, was by fines based upon a value or price put 
upon each person according to his position as regards rank and 
wealth. The fines are the Galanas for slaughter, equivalent 
to the Eric of the Irish ; the Sara ad, or fine for any personal 
injury or insult, which seems to be the SmacJtt of the Irish; 
the Dirwy and Oamhvrw, equivalent to the Dire fines of the 
Irish. The Gwerth or price of the different ranks, equivalent 
to the Irish Honor price, and which regulated the Galanas, 
was as follows : — That of a king is defined in the Laws of 
Gwynedd as three times his Saraad. The Gwerth or value 
and Galanas of a Pencenedl is to be paid by thrice nine kine 
and thrice nine score kine, and his Saraad is thrice nine kine 
and thrice nine score of silver. The Giverth or price and the 
Galanas of an Uchelwr was six score and six kine, and his 
Saraad six kine and six score of silver. That of a native 
Bonedic, or free member of a tribe, was three score and three 
^•^ Welsh Lmvs, 394, 699. 


kine, and his Saraad was three kine and three score of silver. 
That of a king's Alltudd, or foreign settler, was the same. 
The Gwcrth of the Allhidd of an Uchchvr, as well as his 
Saraad, was one half that of the king's Alltudd. The 
Gioerth of a Cacth or bondman, if of the island, was one 
pound ; if from beyond sea, one pound and six score pence, 
and his Saraad was twelve pence. The third of every 
Galanas belongs to the king, ' for to him pertains the en- 
forcing of it when the Ccnedl may be unable to enforce it.' 
The Dirwy was twelve kine or three pounds ; and the Cam- 
livnv, or fine for wrong, three kine or nine score pence. 

So far the resemblance between the Irish and the Welsh The sept 

.in Wales. 

tribe seems sufnciently marked, and we can also trace in the 
Welsh Laws the existence of the sept, though it does not 
come so prominently forward as in the Irish Laws. The 
Uchelwr or territorial lord, from which class alone the Pcnce- 
nedl was elected, had under him a class of native Cymri who 
had become his Aillt or tenants, and had likewise settled 
upon his land, the Alltudion or stranger tenants, both bond 
and free, and his prsedial serfs or Caethhn. These formed 
his Tcuhi or sept, which was sufficiently numerous to turn 
out a military force of one hundred and twenty fighting 
men f^ and we find, though to a more limited extent, the 
same system by which the nearer relations of the chief formed 
an artificial group, which inherited his lands and were re- 
sponsible for the crimes of its members. The law of succes- 
sion in the Tir Gwelyaivg or inheritance land was this — 
'Three times shall the same patrimony be shared between 
three grades of a kindred. First, between brothers ; the 
second time between cousins ; the third time between second 
cousins ; after that there is no propriate share of land ;'*^ and 
in the Commentaries this is illustrated by the following figure, 

^■' Four Ancient Books of Wales, vol. ii. p. 461. 
** Ancient Laivs, p. 266. 



Great Grandfather 




Cousin Brother 


Brother Cousin 









Great Grandson 

Brother Cousin 





which shows the similarity of the system with the Irish. 
The commentator adds, ' The above figure guides a person 
to understand the arrangement and connection existing 
between him and his ancestors and his co-inheritors and 
his children. For the ancestors of a person are his father, 
his grandfather, and his great-grandfather ; the co-inheritors 
are brothers and cousins and second cousins ; the heirs of 
a person are those who proceed from his body, as a son, and 
a grandson and a great-grandson ; and if a person be skilful 
in the use of the figure described above, when a person 
descended from any one of the three kins of the body of the 
original stock shall die without heir of his body, he will know 
who is to obtain the land of such a one according to law. 
For unto the third degree there is to be an appropriate 
sharing of land in the court of a Cyirnvd or Cantrey.' ^^ 

These three kins of the Welsh Laws evidently represent 
the first two Finh of the Irish Laws, viz., the Gdlfin6 and 
DcirhhfiiU, but the Welsh Law proceeds no further with the 
distribution than the first nine persons of the Irish group of 
seventeen. The same group was liable under the Welsh 
Laws for the crimes of its members, and the fines incurred by 
them, but the nine degrees are differently stated, in a manner 

■*•' Ancient Laws, p. 605. The 
form of the figure has been slightly 
altered, in order to bring it to the 

same form as that shown in the 
Irish system. 


which appears to extend it as far as the Irish system. We 
find in the Laws that ' whoever shall confess Galanas, he and 
his kindred shall pay the whole of the Saraad and Galanaa 
of the person killed ; ' and then the kindred is thus defined : 
' Thus the grades of kindred are denominated which are to 
pay Galanas, or to receive payment. The first grade of the 
nine is the father and mother of the murderer or of the mur- 
dered. The second is a grandfather. The third is a great- 
grandfather. The fourth is brothers and sisters. The fifth 
is a cousin. The sixth is a second cousin. The seventh is a 
third cousin. The eighth is a relation in the fourth remove. 
The ninth is a relation in the fifth remove. The collateral 
relations in these grades are the nephews and uncles of the 
murderer or of the murdered. A nephew is a son of a brother 
or sister or of a cousin or of a second cousin, male or female. 
An uncle is a brother of a father or mother, or of a grand- 
father or grandmother, or of a great-grandfather or great- 
grandmother. This is the amount of the share of each of 
these ; whoever may be nearer by one degree to the mur- 
derer, or to the murdered, than another, is to pay or to re- 
ceive twice as much as the other ; and so in respect to all 
the grades and their collateral members.' ^** 

The head of the sept was termed the Paitculu, but we 
have little information as to his relation towards the king or 
the Pencenedl, except that it was from the class of Uchehuyr 
that these were elected, and thus, as in the Irish system, 
they too had each their Teulu or sept. 

There is but one allusion in the Welsh Laws to the sys- Fo?terage 
tern of fosterage, but it is sufficient to show that this custom 
also prevailed among the Welsh tribes. We find in the code 
of Gwynedd that ' if an Uchehvr place his son to be reared 
with the Aillt of a lord, by the permission or by the suffer- 
ance of the lord, for a year and a day, that son is to have a 

^« Ancient Larvs, pp. 198, 199. 

208 THE TlilBH IN "WALES. [hook hi. 

son's share of tlio Aillt's land, and ultimately of his pro- 
perty.'^'^ The age of the boy, however, is distinguished into 
only two periods. First, from his baptism till he is seven 
years of age, during wliich time his father is to swear and 
pay for him, except tlie payment of Diriry or Camltvriv for 
him to the king ; because the king is not to have any Dirwy 
or Camlwriv for an error nor for the act of an idiot, and he 
is not endowed with reason ; he must, however, indemnify 
the sufferer for his property. At the end of seven years he 
himself is to swear for his acts, and his father is to pay. 
From the time when a boy is born till he shall be fourteen 
years of age, he is to be at his father's platter, and his father 
lord over him ; and he is to receive no punishment but that 
of his father, and he is not to receive one penny of his pro- 
perty during that time, only in common with his father. 
At the end of fourteen years the father is to bring his son 
to the lord and commer^d him to his charge ; and then the 
youth is to become his man, and to be on the privilege of 
his lord ; and he is himself to answer every claim that may 
be made on him ; and is to possess his own property ; thence- 
forward his father is not to correct him, more than a stranger ; 
and if he should correct him, upon complaint made by the 
son against him he is subject to Dirwy, and is to do him 
risht for the Saraad. ' From that aafe onward he is of the 
same privilege with an innate Boneddig.'^^ 

The preceding short analysis of the tribal organisation in 
its leading features, as presented to us in the ancient Irish 
and Welsh laws, is an indispensable preliminary to any 
inquiry into the ancient land tenure of the people of Scot- 
land in Celtic times. Without it we should have been at a 
loss to discover the source and origin of many of the pecu- 
liar features it presents in later times. 

^7 Ancient Laws, p. 95. "*' Ih., p. 98. 




In investigating the early social state of the Celtic inhabitants Early 
of Great Britain, we possess an advantage which does not tribal or- 
attach to that of Ireland. For the Pagan period in the latter ^'^"'^^ ^ 
country we have no information except what is derived from 
native tradition ; but in Britain we possess in addition a few 
incidental notices by contemporary writers of other countries, 
both as regards the native population of the Eoman province 
and the Barbarian nations beyond its limits. These notices, 
few and general as they are, yet indicate the presence of a 
social organisation very similar to that of Ireland. 

When we are told by one Greek writer 'that its aboriginal 
tribes inhabit Britain, in their usages still preserving the 
primitive modes of life, and that they have many kings and 
princes;'^ by another, 'that there are several states amongst 
them. Forests are their cities ; for having enclosed an ample 
space with felled trees, here they make themselves huts and 
lodge their cattle ;'2 when Caesar tells us of the inhabitants 
of the interior, whom he calls indigenous, that ' they did not 
resort to the cultivation of the soil for food, but were de- 
pendent upon their cattle and the flesh of animals slain in 
hunting for their food ; ' ^ when Solinus reports of the 
inhabitants of the five Western Isles forming the southern 
group, that ' they knew nothing of the cultivation of the 
ground, but lived upon fish and milk,' which latter implies 

' Diodorus Siculus, lib. v. c. 21. 

- Strabo, lib. iv. » Csesar, De Bello GaUico, v. 12. 


210 Tlii; TKIBE IN SCOTLAND. [nooK iii. 

the possession of herds of cattle, ' and that they had one king, 
who was not allowed to possess property ; ' * when Tacitus 
speaks ' of the numerous states beyond the Firth of Forth/ 
and describes the great Caledonian army wliich Agricola 
encountered at the IMons Granpius as a federation of 
all the states of the northern population ; and when we 
are told of the two great divisions of them in the third 
century — the Caledonians and the M£eata3 — 'that they in- 
habit mountains wild and waterless, and plains desert and 
marshy ; that they live by pasturage and the chase, and 
that their state is chiefly democratical ; ' ^ — we can see that 
they consisted of an aggregation of tribes occupying the land 
in common, and whose chief possessions consisted of cattle. 
When these writers add that they had their wives in 
common, they indicate at least that looser relation between 
the sexes which usually prevailed before the introduction of 
Christianity had invested a stricter rule of marriage with its 
sanction, and which led to a connection through females as 
being regarded with more favour than that through males. 
The tribe When WO comc dowu, however, to Christian times, we 

Picts." find the existence of the Tuath both as the tribe and as the 
tribe territory fully recognised as characterising the social 
organisation of the population of Gaelic race. The ancient 
tract, termed the Amra Choluim Chilli, of Dalian Forgaill, 
preserved in the Liahhar na h-Uidrc, contains repeated 
references to the Tuatlis both in the sense of tribes and of 
their territories, and as regards the Pictish nation as well 
as the Dalriadic colony. Thus we are told that Saint 
Columba 'illuminated countries and territories' {Tir agus 
Tvafha), and that from him ' the Tuaths used to be dis- 
ciplined.' Again, when it is said, 'Through an idolatrous 
Tuath he meditated criminality,' which is explained to 
mean, ' when going through the Tuath or territories of the 

^ Solinus, c. 2-2. ^ Xifiline, lib. Ixxvi. s. 12-16. 


idols he would know their criminality towards God,' it can 
only refer to the pagan nation of the Picts ; and when we 
are told that ' he sought seven Tuaths, viz., the five Tuaths 
of Erin, and two Tuaths in Alban,' the latter must be iden- 
tified with the territory given him by the Picts, who, ac- 
cording to Bede, inhabited the districts adjacent to lona. 
In another passage, when St. Columba is referred to as 
' the son of Fedelimid for whom used to fight or whom used 
to serve the twenty Tuaths' the word is probably used in the 
sense of tribes, and it is still more plainly used in this sense, 
as existing among the southern Picts, when he is described 
as ' the teacher who used to teach the tribes who were around 
Tai, that is, the name of a river in Alban,' which can obviously 
be identified with the river Tay. In another passage they 
are referred to as the people of the Tay {Lncht Toi) ; and the 
Tuaths or tribes are indicated as existing both among the 
Dalriads and the Picts, when he is called ' the champion who 
bound new things for the alliance of Conall, that is, the 
champion of the new things is not here for alliance, that is, 
for confirming the alliance of Conall, that is, between the 
Tuaths of Conall within, or at making their alliance with 
other Tuaths externally.' ^ Conall was the king of Dalriada 
at the time when St. Columba came over from Ireland to Scot- 
land, and the other Tuaths or tribes which were external to 
his kingdom can only refer to the neighbouring tribes of the 
Picts. The undoubted antiquity of this tract gives great 
value to these incidental references to the existence of the 
Tuath or tribe, not only among the Scots of Dalriada, where 
we might expect to meet them, but also among the two great 
races of the northern and southern Picts, and this is confirmed 
by other authorities of a later date. Thus, in the tract called 
' The Genealogy of Corca Laidhe,' referred to in a previous 

^ These passages are taken from Chilli, -with a translation by ]Mr. 
the edition of the Amra Choluim . O'Beirne Crowe. 

212 TIIH TltlliE IN SCOTLAND. [book iii. 

chapter, we read tluit ' Irial (lluinnar, sou of Conall Cearnach, 
liad two sons, viz., Fore and Iboth. llechtgidh Righdearg led 
them into Alban. They gained great battles, so that great 
districts were laid waste in Alban, until the men of Alban 
submitted to Eechtgidh Eighdearg, so that he was king of 
Erin and Alban ; and it was from them sprang the two 
Tuaths or tribes, Tuath Fore and Titath Iboth in Alban.'' 
Itechtgidh liighdearg was one of the mythic pagan kings of 
Ireland, and Irial Glumnar a traditionary hero of the CruitJi- 
nigh, or Picts of Ulster ; but it is a fair inference from it that 
two Tuaths or tribes bearing the names of Fore and Iboth 
were known in Scotland, and the name Fore, which is the old 
form of that of the river Forth, indicates their situation on 
the nortliern shore of that river or estuary, that is, among the 
southern Picts. That a social organisation similar to the 
Irish tribal system prevailed among the southern Picts, to 
whom St. Columba's mission was mainly directed, is con- 
firmed by the Gaelic entries in the Book of Deer, which open 
with the statement that ' Columba and Drostan, son of 
Cosgrach, his pupil, came from Hi, as God had shown them, 
unto Ahbordohoir or Aberdour, and Bede the Cruthnech or 
Pict, who was Mormaer of Buchan, gave them that town in 
freedom for ever from Mormaer and Toiscch ; ' thus exactly 
corresponding to the grant of land to the church of Kells, 
quoted in a former chapter as free from rent, tribute, host- 
ing, coigny, or any other claim of king or Toiscch. Where 
there are Toisechs there are Tuaths, and the district of 
Buchan probably formed a Mortuath like the other districts 
ruled over by a Mormaer, the equivalent in Scotland of the 
Bi Mortuath of the Irish system. 
The tribe in The Scottish kingdom of Dalriada was at this time con- 


fined within very narrow limits, and could hardly claim a 

higher position than that of a Mortuath, as we find that it 

" Miscellany of the Celtic Society, p. 61. 


consisted of three tribes, termed, in the tract ' Of the History 
of the Men of Alban,' the three powerfuls in Dalriada. These 
were the Cinel Gcibran, the Cinel Angus, and the Cincl Loam, 
who traced their descent from tlie three sons of Eochaidh — 
Fergus, Angus, and Loarn — who led the colony from Irish 
Dalriada. We obtain from this tract some valuable in- 
formation as to the constitution of these tribes. The Cincl 
Gahran occupied Kintyre in its old extent, including Knap- 
dale, the district of Cowall, and the islands, that is, of Arran 
and Bute, and consisted of five hundred and sixty houses. 
The Cincl Angusa possessed Isla and Jura, and consisted of 
four hundred and thirty houses. The Cincl Loarn possessed 
the extensive district of Lorn, extending from Lochleven 
to the Point of Ashnish, and part of the opposite coast of 
Morvern, and consisted of four hundred and twenty houses. 
The districts thus occupied by these tribes surrounded an 
inner region, extending from the range of mountains called 
Drumalban to the arms of the sea termed Lochs Craignish 
and Crinan, consisting of the two districts of Lochaw and 
Ardskeodnish. This inner region seems to have been left to 
the older inhabitants of the country, and to have borne the 
name oi Airgialla, possibly for the same reason that that name 
was applied to the extensive region in the heart of Ulster, 
wrested by the Scots under the three Collas from the Irish 
Picts.^ The houses of which these three tribes consisted 
seemed to have formed groups of twenty houses each, as we 
are told that their sea muster assigned twice seven benches 
or seats for rowers to each twenty houses, but the armed 
muster for the Sluagecl or hosting was, for the Cinel Gdbran 
three hundred men, for the Cincl Angusa five hundred men, 
and for the Cinel Loam seven hundred men, but one hundred 
of these were furnished by the people of Airgialla.^ 

* The word GiaUa means a hos- hostages of the conquered people 
tage, and the Irish district is said were fettered with golden fetters, 
to have been so named because the ^ Chronicles of Pkts and Scots, 

214 THE TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [book in. 

The tribe in The Only otlicr districts of modern Scotland in which a 

Galloway. ->,,. ,. ., „,,. ,- 

LTaelic popnlation remained are those of the Lennox and oi 
Galloway, and in the latter we can trace the remains of the 
same tribal system. Thus in the year 1276 we find King 
Alexander the Third confirming a charter by which Neil, 
Earl of Carrick, granted and confirmed to Eoland of Carrick 
and his heirs the right of being head of their kin in all pleas 
relating to kenkenoll and the office of bailie, and the leader- 
ship of the men of the country under the earl. This shows 
that the Cincl or tribe, with its head or Ceamichinel, had 
formerly existed among the Gaelic population of Galloway ; 
and the same thing is indicated by some notices of lost 
charters preserved in the ancient Index published in 1798. 
Thus there is a charter by David ii. to Donald Edzear of the 
captainship of Clanmacgowin, and a charter ' anent the Clan 
of Miimtircasduff,'^'^ John jM'Kennedy captain thereof ; ' this 
term of Captain being the equivalent of the Toisech of the 
Irish and Scottish Gael,^^ and the word Muintir, or people, 
being one of the appellations of a tribe. 
Modifica- Thcsc indications of the existence of a tribal organisation 

sinai°tribes analogous to that in Ireland among the Celtic population 
forefa-n in- during the period when, with the exception of Saxon Lothian, 
fluences. \^Qi\i king and people were Celtic, comprise in the main the 
information we are able to gain from the most trustworthy 
sources available to us ; but after the purely Celtic dynasty 
of kinf{s of Scottish race came to an end in the eleventh 

pp. 308-314. The numbers are given bable those of the Cinel Gabran and 

as stated in the tract, but seem not Cinel Angusa have been ti'ansposed, 

quite correct. Thus there is an and that the 500 belongs to the 

enumeration of the houses of the former, the 300 to the latter. 

Cinel Angusa in connection with ^° Hist. MSS. Rep. v., p. 613; 

the lands occupied by them, which Robertson's Index, pp. 39, 57. 

amount to 330 in place of 430, and ^^ ' Taisius {ToLsech) apud nos 

the armed muster is not in propor- idem est sensu literali ac Capitaneus 

tion to the size of the tribe as shown sen precipuus dux. ' — O'FIaherty, 

by the number of houses. It is pro- O'jygia. 


century in the person of Malcolm the Second, this tribal 
system became exposed to powerful external influences, which 
greatly modified its character, and finally resulted in its dis- 
appearance in the eastern districts under feudal forms, and 
its passing over in the mountainous regions of the north and 
west into the clanship which was afterwards found there. 

Soon after the death of IMalcolm the Second the northern Passing of 
districts of Scotland fell under the dominion of the Nor- tuatu into 
wegian Earl of Orkney, while the Celtic Mormacr of Moray dom, and 

the Tribe 

reigned in a kingdom the centre of which was at Scone ; but into the 
when the usurper was expelled by the heir through a female -"^"^^se. 
of the ancient line, and Malcolm Ceannmor was established 
on the throne by the powerful aid of the Angles of Northum- 
berland under their Earl Siward, and the northern districts 
reverted to his sway on the death of the Norwegian Earl, 
Saxon influences became predominant ; and the new dynasty, 
still more closely connected with the Saxons through the 
marriage of its founder with the Saxon Princess Margaret, 
found its support mainly in the Anglic population of 
Lothian, which now became the most important province of 
the extended monarchy. His son Eadgar reigned in reality 
as a Saxon monarch, and when on his death the kingdom 
was divided between his brothers Alexander and David, the 
former consolidated his kingdom north of the Firths of Forth 
and Clyde upon the basis of Saxon institutions, while the 
latter ruled over the districts of British Strath clyde and 
Anglic Lothian as a feudal lord, with Norman sympathies 
and supported by a powerful following of Norman nobles. 
During the reigns of Eadgar and Alexander there was a silent 
advance of Saxon colonisation, and a progressive assimilation 
of the people to Saxon customs, which led to a Saxon nomen- 
clature being imposed upon their Celtic institutions which 
found analogous forms in the Saxon laws ; and thus in the 
kingdom of Alexander the First we find the Celtic Mormaer 

216 Tin: TKir.K I\ SCOTLAND. [BdOKiif. 

appearing as Coynes or Earl, while the iiaiut; oi" Tliaiius or 
thane was applied to the Tolsech}'^ and the tribe territory is 
now termed Thanagium or Thanage. In the British district 
of Strathclyde the Celtic forms disappeared before the ad- 
vancing feudalism of David ; and wlien upon the death of 
his brother he became the first feudal king of all Scotland 
and its first lawgiver, the constitution of his kingdom was 
based upon the feudal system ; and as its leading principle 
was that the king was feudal superior of all the territory, 
and all rights to land emanated from him, all land not given 
out as feudal holdings was held to be Crown land, and the 
tribe territories not placed under feudal lords, and now 
termed Thanages, w^ere regarded as royal demesnes.^^ 

When Fordun, therefore, in the forty-third chapter of his 
fourth book, tells us that ' of old almost the whole kingdom 
was divided into Thanages,' he was not referring to that 
fabulous state of matters described in a previous chapter, 
when Thanes were supposed to be governors of provinces, 
with an Ahthane over them as high steward — a state of 
matters which never existed in Scotland ; but, as is evident 
from the context, to those smaller territories termed Thanages 
in his own day, and, viewing these Thanages as representing 
the more ancient Tuaths or tribe territories, he is reporting a 
genuine tradition of the tribal organisation which preceded 
the Saxon and feudal forms. 
Distiuctic n The principal fragments of the ancient tribal law which 
into free we find Still preserved in the subsequent legislation were 
classes, those relating to the fines paid in compensation for different 
offences, analogous to those contained in the Irish and Welsh 
Laws ; and these afford us the best indications of the dif- 

'■- ' Thanus apud priscos Scotos gis idem signiticant. Ass. reg. Da. 
sive Hybernos dicitur Tosche.' — c. Statuit Dominus, 38. — Skene, i>e 
Regiam Majeskdem, B. iv. c. 31 ; Verborum Signijicatione. 
note bj' Sir John Skene. Si vero in dominicis vel Thanagiis 

domini regis, etc. Stat. Alex. ii. — 

^^ Domania regis et Thanagia re- Acts of Parliament, i. 399. 


ferent ranks or grades of society in the old tribal system. We 
find in Scotland, as in Ireland and Wales, the broad distinc- 
tion between the free and servile classes. Thus in the laws 
of King William the Lion there is preserved this fragment 
of the older system ' of the law that is callyt weregylt. Of 
euery thief through all Scotland the weregehede is xxxiiii. 
ky and one half, whether he be a freeman or a serf {lihc.r 
sive serviis).' ^* 

Of the classes of freemen these laws regarding fines afford Classes of 
us complete information. Among the laws attributed to 
King David i. is a fragmentary code termed ' Leges inter 
Brettos et Scottos.' It is preserved in Latin, in Norman 
French, and in the vernacular Scotch. By the Bretti are 
meant the Britons of Strathclyde, and the term Scotti now 
comprehended the whole inhabitants of the country north of 
the Firths of Forth and Clyde. David had ruled over the 
former as earl during the reign of Alexander the First, and 
on his accession to the throne seems in this short code to 
have recognised as law the system of fines which existed 
among his Celtic subjects both of Gaelic and of British race, 
and to have included them in a short code applicable to both. 
It contains the fines paid in compensation for slaughter, 
termed here Cro, a word signifying death ; but it is said to 
be equivalent to the Gabies or Go.lanas of the Welsh laws, 
and also to the Enauch or Honor price of the Irish. Another 
fine for slaughter is called Kelchyn, and the fines for ' Blude 
drawn ' seem to be the Saraad of the Welsh. They were 
termed Bludivyts in Saxon and Fiiilrath in Gaelic.^^ 

The Cro of the King of Scotland is said to be one 
thousand ' ky ' or three thousand ' ore ' or ounces of gold, 
three ounces being the value of a cow, and his Kclchyii is 
one hundred ' ky.' 

" Acts of Parliament, i. p. 37o. diciturBludwytys."— C/iar<. of Len- 
nox, I). 44. ' Eludwytys que Scotice 
^'^ ' Abstractione sanguinis que dicitur fiiilrath.' — 76. p. 45. 

218 THE TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [book tii. 

The Cm of the king's son, — that is, the Tanist of the 
Irish Laws, or of an Earl of Scotland, who is thus placed 
in the same rank, — is seven score ' ky ' and ten ' ky.' His 
Kdcliyn is three score ky and six ky and two parts of a 
cow ; and for Bhuie drawn, nine ky. 

The Cro of the son of an Earl, or of a Thane, who is placed 
in the same rank, is one hundred ky. His Kelchyn, forty- 
four ky and twenty-one pence and two-thirds of a penny ; 
and for Blude drawn, six ky. 

The Cro of the son of a Thane is three score ky and six 
ky and two parts of a cow. His Kelchyn is less by a third 
than his father's, and is twenty-nine ky and elevenpence and 
the third part of a halfpenny ; and for Blude drawn, three ky. 

The Cro of the nevow or grandson of a Thane, or of ane 
Ogethearn, is forty-four ky and twenty-one pence and two 
parts of a penny. His Kelchyn is not given, but for Blude 
drawn it is two ky and two parts of a cow. 

We are then told that all these who are lower in the hyii 
(parentela) are callit Carlis (nistici, vilayn), and that the Cro 
of a Ccu'l is sixteen ky, that he has no Kelchyn, and that 
the ' Blud ' of a Carl is one cow. 

We have also in this code a section ' Of thaim that are 
slayn in the peace of the King and other lordis.' 

' Giff ony man be slayn in the peis of our lord the Kyng, 
til him perteins nine score ky.' 

If in the peace of the sone of the King or of an Earl, four 
score and ten ky. 

If in the peace of the son of an Earl or of a Thayn, three 
score ky. 

If in the peace of the son of a Tliane, forty ky ; and if 
in the peace of a nevo or grandson of a Thane, twenty ky 
and two parts of a cow.' ^^ 

The names of the different ranks here are analogous to the 
Irish system, where the son of each grade occupied the rank 
'" Acts of Parliament, vol. i. p. 66.S. 


of the next inferior grade.^^ The Earl was the Scottish Mor- 
macr, the Pd Mortuath of the Irish. The Thanus or thane was 
the Toiscch. The Ogdlicarn is the Irish word Ogthighcarna, 
one of the names applied to the second class of the Gracl- 
Jlatha,^^ or those Aires who received stock from a superior 
Aire. They were also called Oglaochs. The fines occupy an 
intermediate place between those of the Irish and of the 
Welsh Laws, but most resemble the latter ; and the distinc- 
tion between the free and bond classes and the rights of the 
Icyn are clearly indicated from the following addition it made 
to the account of the Kelcliyn fine : — ' If the wife of a free- 
man (liberi hominis) be slain, her husband shall have the 
Kelchyn, and her kyn shall have the Cro and the Gaines. 
If the wife of a Carl (rustici, vileyn) be slain, the lord in 
whose lands he dwells shall have the Kelchyn, and her hyn 
shall have the Cro and the Gaines.' 

A fragment has also been preserved giving the merchet 
or maiden-fee paid to the superior on the marriage of the 
daughter of a dependant. It is the Amohr or Gobr merch of 
the Welsh Laws : — ' According to the assize of the land of 
Scotland, the merchet of every woman, whether she be a serf 
or mercantile, was one calf or three shillings. If she was 
the daughter of a freeman who was not lord of a township, 
her merchet was one cow or six shillings. If the daughter of 
the son of a thane or of a ochethieryi, two cows or twelve 
shillings. If the daughter of an earl, twelve cows.' ^^ 

The fines which were paid for abstaining from attending 
the king's hosting are preserved in the Statutes of Alexander 
the Second, where the following 'record was made at St. 
Johnstoun or Perth before the king be all the " dempsteris " 
(indices) of Scotland in the seventh year of the king's reign, 
or A.D. 1221,' after the kino; had been in hosting at Inverness 

^^ Thus the son of an ^freybr^a?^ Petrie's Antiquities of Tarahill, 

was an Aire ard. — Brehon Laion, p. 199; Chron. of Picts and Scots, 

vol. i. p. 77. p. 319. 

^^ Brehon Laws, vol. i. p. 49; '*' Acts of Pari., vol. i. p. 640. 

220 Tin: Ti;[I5K IN SCOTLAND. [book lit. 

against Donald Neilson.' They thu.s declare that ' of those 
that remained away from the host, tlie king shall have the for- 
feiture of the erlis if their thanes' (that is, the earls' thanes) 
' remained from the host ; but how much that forfalture 
should be was not determined. Of all others which remained 
at liome — that is to say, of the lands of bischopis, abbotis, 
baronis, knychtis, and thaynis which hold of the king, the 
king alone ought to have the forfalture ; that is to say, of 
a thane, vi cows and a calf ; of an ocMycrn, xv sheep or vi 
shillings ; but the king tharof shall have but the one half, 
and the thane or the kuycht the other half. Of a Carl, a 
cow and a sheep ; and they also are to be divided between 
the king and the thane or the knycht.' ' But when by the 
leave of the thane or the knicht they remained behind the 
king, he shall have all the forfalt. For no earl nor sergand 
of the erlis in the laud of any man holding of the king 
ought to come to raise that default but the Erl of Fyffe, and 
he shall not come as earl but as the Mair of the king of his 
rights to be raised within the earldom of Fyffe. Of the 
Gairlis, however, where the king and the earl divide be- 
twixt them, the king and the earl shall have the one half 
and the thane the other half ; but where the thane falls in 
forfalt it shall be divided between the king and the earl, as 
in the laws of King William is declared.'-*^ 

The analogy between this arrangement and the system 
of fines for withdrawing from hosting contained in the 
Irish Laws will be apparent at once, and the different 
grades here given are the same as those in the code of 
David I., though adapted to a period when the thane ap- 
pears as the vassal of the king or of the earl, and the 
oclitycrn as the vassal of the thane. 
Ranks of The different ranks of the bondmen or unfree class have 

also been preserved in the code of laws termed Quoniam 
attackiamcnta. They are there termed native-men (nativi), 

-" Acts of Parliament , vol. i. p. 398. 


and we are told that there are several kinds of nativity or 
Bondage (nativitatis sive hondagii). For some are native-men 
of their grandfather and great-grandfather, which is com- 
monly called de evo et trevo, whom their lord may claim to be 
naturally his native-men by narrating their progenitors, if 
their names are known, as his great-grandfather, his grand- 
father, and his father, who are challenged, declaring them 
to have been his native-men in such a township and in such 
a spot in that township, and to have made and rendered to 
him and his predecessors servile service in a servile land for 
many years ; and this nativity or bondage may be proved by 
the kin of him who is challenged or by a good assize. 

Another kind of bondage is similar to this, when any 
stranger receives servile land from any lord doing servile 
service for that land ; and if he dies in that land and his 
son likewise dies in that land, and afterwards his son lives in 
the same land and dies there, then his whole posterity to the 
fourth degree shall be of servile condition to his lord, and his 
whole posterity may be proved in a similar manner. 

The third kind of nativity or bondage is when a freeman, 
in order to have a lord or the maintenance {manutenencia) of 
any great man, gives himself up to that lord to be his native 
or bondman (nativum seu hondum) in his court by the hair of 
his forehead ; and if he thereafter withdraws himself from 
his lord, or denies his nativitie to him, his lord may prove 
him to be his native-man before the justiciary by an assize, 
challenging him that he in such a day in such a year came 
to him in his court and gave himself up to be his man ; 
and if any one is adjudged to be the native or bondman to 
any lord, that lord can seize him by the nose and reduce 
him to his former servitude, taking from him all his goods 
to the value of four pence.-^ 

These definitions of the different kinds of nativi or bond- 
men may no doubt apply to a later period than we are now 
-1 Acts of Parliament, vol. i. p. 655. 

222 THE TKIBE IX SCOTLAND. [book in. 

referring to, and be more ov less connected with feudal 
forms, but we may, notwithstanding, infer that they pre- 
serve the characteristics of the servile class in Celtic times ; 
for, although the upper classes may in the Lowland dis- 
tricts have been superseded by Saxon or Norman proprie- 
tors holding their lands in feudal tenure, the servile occu- 
piers of the soil of Celtic race who were attached to the 
land would remain and become the villains of the feudal 
lord ; and so we find that wherever they appear in the 
Chartularies they possess Celtic names. 

We see from the above description that their connection 
with their lord was of two kinds — first, by occupying under 
him servile laud ; and second, by placing themselves under 
him as personal bondmen ; and of the former class, they 
were either natives by descent or strangers who had taken 
land from him, and the latter became native serfs after four 
generations. Here we recognise at once the Sendeithe or 
old adherents of the Irish law, and the Bond Fuidhir, who 
became Sendeithe after four generations. The latter class of 
personal serfs are the Moglia of the Irish and the Caeth of 
the Welsh Laws. The Celtic names by which these two 
classes were known in feudal times have also been preserved 
to us. Thus, in the Chartulary of Scone, King William 
the Lion grants a mandate directing that if the abbot 
of Scone or his sergands shall find in the lands or in 
the power of others any of the Cumlau-cs and Cumherhcs 
pertaining to his lands, he may reclaim them ; -^ and in the 
Chartulary of Dunfermline, the foundation charter by King 
David the First grants that all his serfs and all his Cumer- 
laclie from the time of King Edgar shall be restored to the 
Church wherever they may be found, and the scribe inter- 
prets the word Cumer lache by fugitivi on the margin ; and 
in a mandate by the same king to the same effect the title 
is ' Of the fugitivi which are called Cumerlache."^^ In the 
-•- Liber de Scon, p. 24. -■* Chart. Dun/., pp. 6, 17. The 


last syllable of the name Cumlicrhcs or Cumarherbe we can 
recognise the Irijli Avord Orba, applied to that part of the 
tribe territory whicu had become the private property of 
the chiefs ; and this name was no doubt applied to that 
class of serfs whose bondage was derived from their possess- 
ing servile land. They were the ascrvpti glebac of feudal 
times. The term Cumlawe or Cicmarlmve is simply a trans- 
lation of the Latin term manutenencia, which characterised 
the third kind of bondage above described, and whose tie 
to their master being a personal one, led to their frequently 
escaping from hard usage and being reclaimed as fugitives.^^ 
Thus among the laws of King William the Lion we find 
one declaring that any one who detains a native fugitive 
man (nativi fugitivi) after he has been demanded by his 
true lord or his bailie, shall restore the said native-man 
with all his chattels, and shall render to his lord the 
double of the loss he has sustained.-'' 

As in Ireland and Wales, so also in Scotland, the ancient Measures 

. . Ml of land. 

measures of land were closely connected with the tribal 
system, but here too we find them more greatly affected by 
external influences than in the two former countries. When 
we examine the most ancient land-measures of that part of 
Scotland lying north of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, we 
do not find the same local varieties which can be traced in 
the different provinces of Ireland and Wales, but instead, a 
great and leading difference between those of the eastern 
and the western districts. In the eastern districts there 
is a uniform system of land denominations consisting of 
Davachs, Ploughgates, and Oxgangs, the davach consisting 

two classes are mentioned in a tine ; and in the one case forha or 

charter by Thomas, Earl of Mar, orba, terra, and in the other laynh, 

in 1359, of the lands of Rotheneyk, manus, with or without the preposi- 

' cum nativis et fugitivis dictarum tion ar, upon. The word Gum is no 

terrarum.'— yl?«<. Aberd. and Bavff, doubt the root of the Irish Cumal, 

vol. iv. p. 716. the primary meaning of which was 

-■' These names seem to be de- a female slave, 

rived from the verb Cum, tene, re- -^ Acts of Pari., vol. i. p. 381. 

224 'J'llH TlMliE IN .SCCVI'LAXD. [book iii. 

of four ploughgates, and each ploughgate of eight oxgangs ; 
but as soon as we cross the great chain of mountains sepa- 
rating the eastern from the western waters, we find a differ- 
ent system equally uniform. The ploughgates and oxgangs 
disappear, and in their place we find davachs and penny 
lands. Tlie portion of land termed a davach is here also 
called a 'firung or ounce land (unciata terra), and each 
davach or Tiimng contains twenty penny lands. 

The davach'^** being the only denomination common to 
both parts of the country, we may infer that it belongs to 
the old Celtic system of land-measures, and that the others 
are foreign importations. Now we find in the ancient pro- 
vince of Lothian, which originally formed part of the Anglic 
kingdom of Northumbria and possessed an Anglic population, 
the land-measures consisted of Carucates or ploughgates, and 
Bovates or oxgangs. The oxgang contained thirteen acres, 
two oxgangs made a husband-land, and eight oxgangs a 
ploughgate, which thus consisted of 104 acres of arable land. 
On the other hand, in the islands of Orkney and in the district 
of Caithness, which were formerly a Norwegian earldom 
under the king of Norway, we find the land was valued ac- 
cording to a standard of value derived from the weight of 
silver, the unit being the ounce or Eyrir, eight ounces forming 
the Morlz or pound, and twenty pennings one ounce,^^ and 
thus the land-measures consisted of Oe.r& or ounce lands, 
the ounce lands containing either eighteen or twenty penny 
lands. They seem to have been so called, because under the 
Norwegian rule each homestead paid one penny as scat, 

-" The word Davach has been pi. ace, dual Dabeg), which it could 

supposed to be derived from Damh not be if it meant Aclt a field. The 

an ox, and Achadh ot Ach a field, word is also applied in Ireland to 

and thus to mean oxgang ; but the the largest liquid measure, and ap- 

Book of Deer shows this to be false pears in this sense in the old Irish 

etymology. The word there in its Glosses, 'Caba,^■.e. Cavea,Z)a6/iacA, 

oldest form is Dahach, and the last genitive Dabhca ' (p. 63). 

syllable is inflected (forming in gen. -'' Dasent's Saga of Burnt Njal. 


It is therefore a fair inference that, with the Saxon colo- 
nisation, the Saxon denominations superseded the older Celtic 
lesser denominations, as forming the subdivisions of the 
Davach in the eastern districts, while in the western seaboard 
and in the islands, which were for a time under Norwegian 
rule, the Norwegian denominations replaced the Celtic, but in 
both cases they were adapted to the existing divisions of land, 
which could not be altered without interfering with the whole 
framework of society. The Carucate or ploughgate was a 
term known to the Irish system, and may likewise have 
existed in Scotland in Celtic times, as it appears in Highland 
charters under the name of Araclior, the Gaelic equivalent 
of the Latin Aratrum,-^ but seems sometimes to have con- 
tained 160 acres in place of 104, and consisted of a definite 
measure of arable land with common pasture ; -^ and we find 
from a charter of a Carucate or ploughgate of land on the 
Nith, that the common pasture carried 24 cattle and 100 
sheep,^° and the minor terms can probably still be traced in 
the topography of the districts. We have the words Ballin, 
Bed, from Baile, a town, entering into many local names in 
both parts of the country, as well as the word Teaglilach or 
family, corrupted into TuUy and Tilly, as in Tullynessle, Tilly- 
morgan, etc. Then in the east there are the Pits, the old form 

-* Chart, of Lennox, pp. 34, 36, but these charters have obviously 

38. Mr. W. Fraser, in his first re- been misread. It was not the 

port on the Montrose papers, notes church but the land conveyed that 

a charter by Alexander of Dunhon was called Arathor or Lefharathor, 

to Sir Patrick of Graham of three that is, carucate or half -carucate 

quarters of a camicate of land of (ib. iv. 386). 

Akeacloy nether, ivhich in Scotch is -^ Antiq. Aberdeen, and Banff, vol. 

called Arachor (Hist. MSS. Rep. I. iv. p. 690, where a dimidia carucata, 

166) ; but in his second report quotes or half-ploughgate, is said to contain 

two charters by the Earl of Lennox 'quater xx acras cum crofto habiente 

confirming to Sir Uavid of Graham vii acras et commi;ni pastura. ' In 

the half-carucate of land of Strath- the Chartulary of Arbroath we have 

blahane, where the church called ' una carrucata terrre mensurata et 

Arathor in the one charter and Le- arabilis cum commune pastura,' p. 7. 

tharathor in the other was built, ^'' Charters of Holyrood, p. 44. 

VOL. in. P 

226 THE TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [book iii, 

of which, as appears from the Book of Deer, was Pctk or Pett. 
It is there uniformly connected with a personal name, as if 
it was applied to a single homestead, as in Peite mac Garnait, 
Pett mac Gobrig, and Pctt Malduih, and the affix Pitt seems 
to have a similar meaning in the old entry in the Chartulary 
of St. Andrews, where we read of the ' villula ' or homestead, 
which is called Pitmokane.^^ In the western districts we find 
the penny land also entering into the topography, in the form 
of Pen or Penny, in such names as Pennyghael, Pennycross, 
Penmollach, while the halfpenny becomes Leffen, as in Leffen- 
stratli ; and if the group of twenty houses, which we found 
characterising the early tribe organisation in Dalriada, was 
the Davach, then we obtain the important identification of 
these houses or homesteads with the later penny lands. 
We find notices in the charters connected with this part of 
the country of the Shammarh, equal to two penny lands, of 
Cow lands, probably the Irish Ballyhoc, and of Horsegangs.^^ 
"When these western districts fell under the rule of the 
Scottish monarchs, the valuation of land called the Old Ex- 
tent seems to have been to some extent introduced. In the 
eastern districts it corresponded so far with the land measures, 
that the ploughgate was the same as the forty shilling or a 
three-merk land;^^ but the merk land in the west appears to 
have had no uniform relation to the penny land, though in 
Lochaber we find that five penny lands were equal to a forty- 
shilling land, which seemed to indicate that here also the 
ploughgate was the fourth part of a Davach, and consisted 
of five homesteads ; on the other hand, we are told that each 

^1 Chart, of St. Andrews, p. 114. termed a quarter or Horsegang, 
^- ' The tenants, particularly of and an eight shilling and eight- 
arable farms, have but small pos- penny land. 

sessions, only the fourth part of a '*'^ Scotch Legal Antiquities, by 

farm, or what is called here a Horse- Cosmo Innes, p. 270. Mr. Innes 

gang ' {<S7ai. Ace. o/ Kilinartin, viii. was the first to discover this im- 

97). In the Craignish papers it is portant analogy. 


township in Isla consisted of two and a half merk lands.^'* 
The state of these districts probably gave the Davachs and 
penny lands a fluctuating value, which depended more upon 
the pasture and the stock it carried than on the arable land. 
There is an old tradition that the Davach was land capable 
of pasturing 320 cows, and that a merk land was as much 
land as would graze twelve milch cows, ten yeld cows, in- 
cluding three-year-olds, twelve two-year-olds, twelve year- 
olds, four horses, four fillies, mares and followers, one hun- 
dred sheep, and eighty goats.^^ The two systems of land 
measure appear to meet in Galloway, as in Carrick we find 
the measure by Penny lands, which gradually become less 
frequent as we advance eastward, where we encounter the 
extent by merks and pounds, with an occasional appearance 
of a penny land, and of the Bovate or oxgang in Church lands. 

The burdens upon the land held by the community in Burdens on 
Scotland seem to have been principally four. We find them 
still attaching to the Crown and the Church lands during 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and they are analogous 
to those connected with the Irish tribe system. They were 
Cain, Conveth, Feacht, and Sluagcd. The two former were 
fixed payments in kind. The two latter were services to 
which the possessor of the land was subject. They are ren- 
dered in Latin by the words cxj^editio and cxcrcitus. We 
find these burdens in both of the leading divisions of the 
country north of the firths. Thus, by a deed dated at Lis- 
more in the year 1251, Sir Ewen, son of Duncan de Erre- 
gathil (Argyll), granted to William, bishop of Argyll, fourteen 
penny lands in Lismore, free of all secular exactions and 

"^ Or'ujines Parochiales, vol. ii. ledge of Highland traditions. In 
part i. pp. 177, 191. Appendix iii. the Slat. Ace. of Saddel it is stated 

that the average stock of a merk 

■*•' Information derived from the land is 4 horses, 12 milch cows with 
late Colonel Macdonell of Glen- their followers, and 40 sheep with 
garry, who had an accurate know- theirs (vol. xii. p. 477). 

228 THE TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [nooK iii. 

dues — viz., Cain, Coneveth, Feacht, Sluaged, and Ich — and of 
all secular services \^ and similarly Roger, bishop-elect of 
St. Andrews, granted between 1188 and 1198, when he was 
consecrated, the lands of Duf Cuper to the church and 
canons of St. Andrews, free of Can et Cuneveth et exercitu 
et auxilio et ab omni servicio et exactione seculari.'^'^ 
The Cain We find during this period that these dues and services 

or Can. 

were derived by the king from the Crown lands, and by the 
superiors from lands not held feudally. Thus King David 
grants to the monks of Dunfermline the tithe of his whole 
Can from Tif and Fothrif, likewise the tithe of his Can of 
Clacmannan, and the half of his tithe of Ergaithel (Argyll) 
and Kentir in that year, to wit, in which he receives Can 
from it, and these grants are repeated by his successor Mal- 
colm IV. ^^ King David likewise grants to the church of 
Urchard (Urquhart) the tithe of the Can de Ergaithel de 
Muref, that is, that part of the great province of Ergadia or 
Ergaithel which belonged to Moray, extending from the 
Leven to the border of North Argyll.^^ King William con- 
firms to the bishop of Moray the Cana et Coneveta which 
his predecessors had received from those who held land of 
the bishops during the time of King David and King Mal- 
colm;**' and in an agreement in 1225 between the bishop 
and Walter Cumyn of Badenoch, the bishop frees him from 
any claim he had for the tithe of the Can of his lord the 
king from the lands of Badenoch.*^ 

In AlDcrdeenshire we find the Earl of Mar wanting to the 
bishop of St. Andrews the tithe of the 'redditus' or Ca7i 
of his whole lands ; *- and Thomas the Hostiary gives to the 
canons of Monimusk ten bolls of meal and ten stones of 

•'8 Beg. Mag. Sig. , lib. xiv. No. .389. *'■' Chartulary of Moray, p. 8. 

3^ Chart, of St. Andrews, p. 45. ^^ 

^^ Chartulary of Dunfermline. ' ^' 

^^ Antiqiiitie^i of Aberdeen and *- Antiq. of Aberdeen and Banff, 

Banff, vol. ii. p. 273. vol. ii. pp. 17, 22. 


cheese from his lands of Outherheicht, which is afterwards 
called the Can of Houctireycht.*^ 

In Mearus or Kincardine Earl David of Huntingdon 
grants to the church and canons of St. Andrews the whole 
Kan and Kimeveth, which they were due him, from the 
lands of Ecclesgirg, and the services which his men of Eccles- 
kirch were bound to render him.** Then in the beginning of 
the thirteenth century the record of a dispute between the 
bishop of St. Andrews and the abbot of Arbroath is pre- 
served to us in the chartulary of that church, regarding the 
lands of Eyvy, Tarves, Innerbondy, Munclere, Gamery, In- 
verugy, and Monediu, and the Can or redditus and Conevet 
of these lands, which the bishop resigns to the abbot free of 
every exaction, reserving to himself the ancient ' redditus ' of 
Monedin, viz., three shillings and sixpence, and the portion 
of the Conevet which was wont to be paid at Bencorin or 
Banchory ; and in the same Chartulary there is a grant by 
King William to the abbey of Arbroath of the ferry and 
ferrylands of Munros, to be held free ' ab exercitu et ex- 
peditione et operatione et auxilio et ab omnibus consue- 
tudiuibus et omni servicio et exactione ; ' and the earl of 
Angus grants them the lands of Portincraig in similar terms, 
as free ' ab exercitu et expeditione et exactione multure 
et ab omnibus auxiliis et geldis et omnibus serviciis et exac- 
tionibus ; ' the ' exercitus ' and ' expeditio ' being the Sluagecl 
and Fcacht of the Gaelic charters.*^ 

Then in Eife we find in a rental of the earldom a certain 
jirma or rent which is termed Canus, with ten shillings 
of the Can of Abernethy ; and in Stratherne we find the 
bishops of Dunkeld confirming to the canons of luchaffray 
the lands of Maderty, which is called AUhan, and the free- 

^ Antiquities of Aberdeen and Banff, vol. i. p. 174. 
** Chartulary of St. Andrews, p. 238. 
■*' Chartulary of Arbroath, pp. 12, 35. 

230 THE TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [book in. 

doni from the Cam' and Coneveth which the clerics of 
Dunkeld were wont anciently to receive from these lands. 

These notices will be sufficient to show that these Celtic 
burdens on land prevailed over the whole of the country 
north of the Firths, on tlie crown lands and those of the 
church, and on all lands which had not become the subject 
of feudal grants. 

Passing then to tlie country south of the Firths, we find 
them equally prevalent, except in the great Anglic province 
of Lothian. Thus King David grants to the church of Glas- 
gow the whole tithe of his Cha7i in the beasts and pigs of 
Strathegrive and Cuninghame, Kyle and Carrick, in each 
year, unless the king himself shall go to dwell there and 
consume his own Chan.^^ These districts formed the greater 
part of the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde, and this 
was an appropriate grant to the church of Glasgow, which 
had been its metropolitan church. Then we find the lords 
of Galloway granting lauds in that district to the canons of 
Holyrood, free from all ' Ca7i and Cuncveht and from every 
exaction, custom, and secular service ; ' *" and finally, at a 
court held by the judges of Galloway at Lanerch in the reign 
of King William the Lion, in presence of the Lord of Gallo- 
way, it was adjudged that ' when the king ought to receive his 
Can from Galloway he should issue his breve to the Mail's 
of Galloway, and the Mairs should go with the royal breve 
to the debtor of the Can and exact the Can from him. If 
he fail to pay, the Mair was to take the rod or staff, called 
the king's staff, and take a distress for the king's Can, and if 
the debtor removed the subject of the distress he was to pay 
for each ten cows fifteen cows, besides a hundred cows dc 
miscricordia ; but if he delivered part of the Can, till after the 
Nativity he was to pay for each cow four shillings of cow- 
tax, and for each pig sixteen pence, and before the Nativity 

^^ Chartulaiy of Glasgow, p. 12. ■*'' Chartulary of Holyrood, p. 61. 


the debtor was to deliver cows worth forty pence, and if he 
stated on oath that he had no pigs, he was to pay for each 
pig seventeen pence.'*^ 

This last notice will explain in some degree what the 
bilrden termed Cam or Can really was, and how it was 
exacted. It consisted of a portion of the produce of the land, 
in grain when it was arable land, and in cattle and pigs when 
pasture land. It was in fact the outcome of the Bestighi 
or food-rent of the Irish laws, and the Gvjestva of the Welsh 
laws, paid by every occupier of land to his superior. Over 
the whole of Scotland, except in Lothian, it was a recognised 
burden upon the crown lands and upon all land not held by 
feudal tenure, but it ceased as soon as the possessor of the 
land was feudally invested. Thus we find in the Moray 
Chartulary an agreement between the bishop of Moray and 
Thomas de Thirlestan, who had received a feudal grant of the 
lands of Abertarff, regarding a half-davach of land, which the 
bishop asserted belonged to the church, and regarding the 
tithes of the royal Can payable from the lands of Abertarff 
before his feudal investiture {ante infeodationcm). There is 
a similar agreement between the bishop and James, son of 
Morgund, regarding certain lands in his fief of Abernethy, 
and regarding the tithes of the Can which was wont to be 
paid to the king from these lands before his feudal investi- 
ture, and another between the bishop and Gilbert the 
Hostiary regarding the tithes of the Can which he was wont 
to pay annually to the king from the lands of Strathbroc and 
Buleshe before his feudal investiture {ante infeodationem).^^ 
The Ca7i or Chan was so termed from the Gaelic word Cain, 
the primary meaning of which was ' law.' It M'as the equiva- 
lent of the Latin word canon, and like it was applied to any 
fixed payment exigible by law.^<^ 

*^ Acts of Pari, vol. i. p. 378. '''^ Craig arrives at the true mean- 

*^ Chart, of Moray, pp. 23, 76, 80. ing when he says, 'Meoquidem judi- 

232 THE TIUBR IN SCOTLAND. [book iii. 

Couvetii. Conveth was the Irish Cuinmhcdha or Coigny, derived, 

according to O'Donovan, from Coinmhe, which signifies feast 
or refection. It was the Dovracth of the Welsh hwvs, and was 
founded upon the original right which the leaders in the tribe 
had to be supported by their followers. It came to signify 
a night's meal or refection given by the occupiers of the land 
to their superior when passing through his territory, which 
was exigible four times in the year, and when the tribe terri- 
tory came to be recognised as crown land, it became a fixed 
food contribution charged upon each ploughgate of land. 
Thus in the charter by King Malcolm the Fourth, confirming 
the foundation of the abbey of Scone, he grants to the canons 
from each ploughgate of the whole land of the church of 
Scone in each year, at the Feast of All Saints, for their 
Conevcth, one cow and two pigs, and four Camni of meal, and 
ten threaves of oats, and ten hens and two hundred eggs, 
and ten bundles of candles, and four pounds of soap, and 
twenty half meales of cheese.^^ 

In the reiRn of Alexander the Third this word seems to 
have assumed the form of Waytinga, and appears in the 
Chamberlain Eolls of his reign as a burden upon the 
Thanages. Thus the Chamberlain renders an account of the 
Waytingas of Forfar and Glammis, of the Waytinga of one 
night of Fettercairn, of the Waytingas of four nights in the 
year of Kinross, and ' of the rent of cows of two years,' that 
is to say, of the Waytingas of two nights in the year of 
Forfar, forty-eight cows, and of the Waytinga of (one) and a 
half nights of the Thanage of Glammis, twenty-seven cows.^^ 

cio melius a canone deducetur, cum feudi per se, neque speciem tenen- 

idem prope significet. Canon enim drire immutat, ut nulla alia prtestatio 

in jure prrestationem anuuam sive annua, nisi exprimatur teuenda in 

pensitatiouem iunuit, unde canon f eudifirma. ' — /?is/eM(ZaZe, pp. 79, 28. 

frumentarius et canon metallicus. 
. . . Est itaque Cana idem quod 
Canica, sive Canon, sive certa put- ^" Chamberlain RolU, pp. 6, 50. 

^1 Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 7. 

5- Chamberlain RolU, pp. 6, 
statio annua, qua^ nunquam naturam There is a blank in the record. 


Another name for this exaction was Guidoidhche, or a 
night's portion, corrupted into Cuddiche or Cuddicke. It 
appears under this name mainly in the Highlands and Islands, 
and was continued as a burden on the lands to a late period. 
In the rentals of South and North Kintyre for 1505 we find, 
besides ^?'m« or rent, each township charged with a certain 
amount of meal, cheese, oats, and a mert or cow, pro Ic Cud- 
dechf. A description of the Western Isles written between 
1577 and 1595, has preserved a record of these payments. 
Lewis, a forty pound land, pays yearly 18 score chalders of 
victuall, 58 score of ky, 32 score of wedderis, and a great quan- 
tity of fishe, poultry, and white plaiding by their Cuidichics — 
that is, feasting their master when he pleases to come in the 
country, each one their night or two nights about, according 
to their land or labour. In Uist each merk land paid 20 bolls 
victual, besides other customs which are paid at the landlord's 
coming to the Isle to his Cudicht ; and in Mull each merk 
land paid yearly 5 bolls bear, 8 bolls meal, 20 stones of cheese, 
4 stones of butter, 4 marts, 8 wedders, 2 merks of silver, and 2 
dozen of poultrie by Cuddiche, whenever their master comes 
to them. Under the name of Conyoio or Coigny it appears in 
lona, when, in a contract between the bishop of the Isles and 
Lauchlan M'Lean of Dowart, in 15 80, the latter becomes bound 
that he ' sail suffer na maner of persoun or personis to oppress 
the saidis landis of Ycolmekill (lona) and Eosse, or tenantis 
thaireof or trouble or molest thame in ony sort with ather 
stenting, Conyoio, gerig service or ony maner of exactioun.' ^^ 
In Atholl we find the vassals of Strathtay and their tenants 
ordered as late as in 1719 to pay their Cudeichs according to 
ancient use and wont. These included two pecks of corn, one 
threave of straw, and six shillings Scots for maintenance of 
the superior's horses and servants who wait on them, out of 
each twenty shilling land ; and in 1720 it is ordered that the 

^^ Appendix iii., Athole Papers. Collect, de Bebns Albanicis, p. 16. 

234 TIIK TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [hook hi. 

accustomed corn and straw and otlier casualties paid yearly 
as Cuddciclis out of each merk land be taken up, excepting 
always the land laboured by the vassals for their own use. 

A similar burden under different names emerges in Gal- 
loway, when in a charter by David ii. to Sir John Heris, 
knight of the barony of Terreglis, in Dumfriesshire, in which 
it is declared ' free of Sorryn and Fachalos unless officers 
come through it with a robber or with the head of a robber ; 
and if they, the king's officers, can pass beyond the barony 
before sunsetting, they shall have nothing for their expenses, 
and if they cannot pass beyond the barony before sunsetting 
they shall have hospitality for that night {hospicium ad hos- 
pitandum),' etc. Sorrcn was a tax imposed in Ireland upon 
the possession of land for the clothing, feeding, and support- 
ing the galloglasses and kernes. It was originally a night's 
meal upon land passed through, and Fachalos was probably 
the Irish Fcchtfclc, which is explained as ' the first night's 
entertainment we receive at each other's house.' ^* 
Expedition The Fcaclit and Sluagcd (expcditio et exercitus) consisted 
of a general obligation, originally upon the members of the 
tribe, and afterwards upon the possessors and occupiers of 
what had been tribe territory, to follow their superiors and 
chiefs as well as the Ard?'i or sovereign in his expeditions 
and wars. They are usually termed expedition and hosting, 
and in Scotland the burden was apportioned upon the 
davach of land. It is probably this burden that is referred 
to in the Book of Deer, where we are told that the ' Mormaer 
and Toisech immolated all the offerings to God and to devo- 
tion, and to Saint Columcille and to Peter the Apostle, free 

•"'■' Innes's Legal Antiqidties, p. 241. Mr. Innes's attempt to ex- 

p. 70 ; Ware's A ntiquitates Hiher- plain these terms will show how 

nica', p. 209 ; O'Curry, Lectures on essential an acquaintance with the 

the Manners and Customs of the ancient Irish laws is to the inter- 

-4)ic/eMi /W.s7i, vol. iii. p. 495, note ; pretation of our ancient Scotch 

Ulster Archccol. Journal, vol. iv. customs. 

and host- 


from all the burdens, for a portion of four davachs of what 
would come on the chief tribe residences generally and on the 
chief churches.' These obligations seem to have constituted 
what is called in charters Scottish service (scrvitium Scoti- 
canum), and were of two kinds, internal and external, the 
one representing the Feacht or expedition, and the other the 
Sluagcd or hosting. "We find them distinguished in a charter 
by Waldevus de Stratheihan to the church of St. Andrews 
of the lands of Blaregeroge, which are granted ' free from all 
exaction and service, internal and external ' {sine omnc exac- 
tionc ct sc7'vitio intrinseco d forinscco) ; ^^ and their con- 
nection with the Davach appears very clearly from three 
Charters, one by Alexander ii. to the abbey of Scone of the 
lands of Magna et Parva Blar, which contains in the reddendo 
the clause, ' rendering the external service only which per- 
tains to five davachs of land, that pertaining to the sixth 
davach being remitted.' ^^ In another by the Earl of Strath- 
erne to Willelmus de Moravia, the lands are granted free of 
' every service except the external Scottish service of our 
lord the king ; ''"^ and in a third charter by Alexander the 
Second to the abbey of Arbroath of the lands of Tarvays, 
consisting of four davachs and a half davach and quarter 
davach, they are granted ' rendering the external service in 
the army which pertains to the said lands.' ^^ We have seen 
that the Feachtmara or sea expedition of each tribe in 
ancient Dalriada was attached to each twenty houses, corre- 
sponding to the twenty penny lauds which formed the davach 
in the west, showing very clearly that even at this early 

■''5 Chart, of St. Andrews, p. 277. ■'' Aliquod servitium nisi forin- 

"^ Faciendo forinsecum servitium secum servitium Scoticanum domini 

tantum quod pertinet ad quinque regis. — Chart, of Moray, p. 470. 
davachas terras, servitium vero 

pertinens ad sextam davacham de '-'^ Faciendo forinsecum servitium 

Blar dictis canonicis remisimus. — in exercitu quod pertinet ad predic- 

Liher EccUsie de Scon, p. 42. tas terras. — Chart, of Arb., p. 74. 


period the Davacli was the measure of land by wliich this 
burden was regulated. 

Such, then, were the burdens connected with the ancient 
tribal organisation as depicted in the Irish and Welsh Laws 
which we find still attached to the thanages, as well as to 
all the crown and church lands not held on a feudal tenure. 
They consisted of, first, a share of the produce of the laud 
and the stock, of the personal services of certain of the 
tenants, and of various fines, which were all included in 
the general term of Cain ; secondly, of rights of entertain- 
ment and support for a certain number of nights in the 
year, under the name of Coinmhedha or Conevdh, Cui- 
doidhche or Cuddecliie, Waytinga, Sorren, and Fachalos, and 
assessed on homesteads or penny lands in the west, twenty 
of which made a davach ; and on Carucates or ploughlands 
in the east, four of which constituted the davach ; thirdly, 
of the Fcacht or expedition, — the burden of joining in 
expeditions within the kingdom or territory ; and fourthly, 
of the Sluagcd or Scottish service of hosting, — that is, the 
burden of attending the king's army or host when assembled 
for the defence of the kingdom or for hostile invasion ; and 
of all these burdens the various grades connected with the 
land had their C^iid or share in definite proportions. 
Assimiia- These old Celtic tenures, however, became gradually more 

feudal and more assimilated to feudal forms as the kingdom with 
°""^' its mixed population assumed more the aspect of a feudal 
monarchy, and its kings adapted the customs of their subjects 
of different race to the model of those of the feudal law. In 
this progress of adaptation we can trace two distinct stages, 
— one when the crown lands came to be considered as 
held upon a distinct tenure termed in England fee-farm, in 
Scotland feu-farm, and in Latin charters feodifirma ; and 
again, when the War of Independence which followed on 
the death of the last of the kinos of the race of Malcolm 


Ceannmor and the contest between the houses of Bruce and 
Baliol led to numerous confiscations of the laud held by 
their partisans on both sides, and to the general conversion 
of the crown grants into feudal tenures for military service. 

The tenure of crown lands in fcodifirma, or feu-farm, Tenui-e in 
appears in England as early as the reign of King John, and 
must have then been already well established, as one of the 
stipulations in the articles of the Barons which led to the 
great charter of liberties or Magna Charta, and repeated in 
the latter, is, that if any one holds of the king ;per feodi- 
Urmam, or on soJcagc or burgage tenure, and of another for 
military service, the king is not to have the custody of the 
heir or of his land who holds of another in fee by reason of 
his fee-farm, sokage, or burgage holding of the king, nor shall 
he have the custody of the latter unless the fee-farm owes 
military service ; ^^ and in Scotland it was evidently recog- 
nised as a tenure holding of the Crown in the reigns of 
William the Lion and of Alexander the Second, The tenure 
in feu-farm or fcodifirma was in fact an intermediate tenure 
between those who had merely the usufruct of land the 
right of property in which still remained with the granter, 
and those who held land as his vassal by a formal feudal 
grant for military service. Of the two words of which the 
name is composed, Firma — derived from the Saxon /corwi: — 
was the share of the produce of the land paid by a tenant 
to his landlord by way of rent; and to hold lowd ad fir- 
mam or in firma was equivalent to the modern leasehold 
tenure : it was constituted by a lease and completed by 
possession, and the tenant was called ^rman'ws ; hvit feodum 
is the feudal fief granted by charter and completed by seisin 
or infeftment. The tenure in fcodifirma, therefore, was a 
feudal grant of land, not for military service, but for a firma 
or permanent rent, and was equally constituted by charter 
^^ Stiibbs's SeUct Charters, pp. 284, 293. 

238 THE TRIBE IN SCOTLAND. [book hi. 

and seisin. Such lands were held ad feodifirmam, the 
annual payment was the fcodifirma, and the holder was 
called fcodijinnarin^. These grants were supposed to re- 
semble the Eoman Emjjhyteusis, and the form still exists 
in Scotland in our modern feu-charter, in which the same 
expressions are used. In these the land is conveyed 'in 
feu-farm, to be held in feu-farm fee and heritage for ever/ 
for payment of an annual ' feu-duty,' and the granter is 
called the ' feuar.' It is, however, essentially a feudal hold- 
ing, and differs from a mere tenancy by lease in this — that 
in the former the dominium utile of the land is conveyed 
by charter to the vassal, while in the latter the usufruct of 
the land is solely given, and the property of the soil remains 
with the granter.^" 
Ranks ot When the thanage came to be considered as crown land 

Crown °" it assumed an appearance, with its thane holding it under 
the Crown and paying a share of the produce as Cain, 
which was so analogous to that of the feu-farm holding, that 
when feudal forms became more generally adopted it almost 
unavoidably passed over into the latter ; and it is at this 
stage of the history of the thanage, when it was universally 
recognised as a feu-farm holding, that the very important 
description of the tenure of crown lands given us by Fordun 
in his Chronicle, to which we have already adverted, more 
directly applies. We must now examine this description 
more in detail. 

Fordun divides the possessors and occupiers of the crown 
lands into three classes, beginning his description with the 
lowest class, and proceeding through the different ranks till he 
reaches the Thane ; but it will be more convenient for our 
purpose to invert the order in which he describes them. 

^'^ This more detailed explanation ing was a mere tenancy. See the 
seems necessary, as the term is of ten author's edition of Fordun, vol. ii. 
used loosely, as if the feu-farm hold- p. 415, for a fuller discussion of this. 



He introduces his description by stating that the kings 
were accustomed of old to give to their soldiers more or 
less of their lands in feu-farm a thanage or portion of some 
province, of which, however, he gave to each as it pleased 
him. Then follow the three classes. The highest he terms 
priTicvpes, thani, and milites. To these, who were few in num- 
ber, he gave the land in perpetuity, but under the burden of 
a certain annual payment to the king. The word prindpes 
here, probably, means the earls of those ancient earldoms 
who represented the old Mormaers, and whose demesne was 
held to have been originally part of the crown land.*^^ The 
thani represented the older Toschachs, and here we find the 
Toschachs or thanes holding the demesne of the thanage of the 
king in feu-farm, and paying an annual feu-duty, first in kind, 
and retaining its original name of Cain, but afterwards com- 
muted to a money payment. Accordingly, in the laws of 
William the Lion and of Alexander the Second we find them 
in the position of crown vassals holding of the king in capite. 
Thus in an assize held at Perth by King "William the Lion 
there were present the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, thanes, 
and whole community or estates of the kingdom. Again, a 
law passed in a.d, 1220, regarding persons absenting them- 
selves from the king's army, mentions those belonging to the 
lands of bishops, abbots, barons, knights, and thanes who hold 
of the king.^2 j^y milites, Fordun here means those who held 

^^ The seven earls appear, accord- p. 377. Two popular errors have 
ing to Fordun, at the coronation of jjrevailed with regard to the true 
King Alexander the Second, and in character and position of the thanes, 
the same year he passes some laws, By the oldest of these they were 
apparently with consent of these regarded as the governors of pro- 
earls, regarding the laud. In the vinces, having over them an ahthane 
first the expression is, 'Rex cum orchief governor. Fordun seems the 
communi consilio comitum suorum. ' inventor of this, and to it belongs his 
In the second, ' Rex et 2^'>'mc/pes mythic character Macdufif, thane of 
ejus.' By Fordun they are usually Fife ; but it is inconsistent with the 
called macjnates et iwoceres. account he subsequently gives of 

*- Acts of Parliament, vol. i. the tenure of the crown lands, and 


a portion of the tlianage termed a tenement or tenandry, either 
direct from the king, or, as was more usual, under the thane 
or lord as a sub-vassal, as distinguished from the demesne.^^ 
These formed the class termed freeholders or liberc tencntes, 
and were hound to yield certain services as suit and service 
in the court of the overlord and Scottish service to the king. 
This class is frequently alluded to in the laws both of Wil- 
liam the Lion and of Alexander the Second. Thus in a statute 
of King William the Lion in 1180, regarding the holding of 
barony courts, it is provided that neither bishops nor abbots, 
nor earls nor barons, nor any freeholders (lihere tencntes) 
shall hold courts unless the king's sheriff is summoned, etc. 
Again, in a statute regarding justice and sheriff moots, we 
have barons, knights (militcs), and freeholders (lihere tcnentes) 
classed together ; and a statute regarding the mode of citation 
refers to persons cited to attend the moots of the justiciary 
shiref, baron, vavasour (that is, of one holding of a baron), or 
of any freeholder (hhcrc tencntis) that has a court. Then a 
declaration regarding the freedom of the Church is made by 
King William at Scone, with the common consent and deli- 
beration of the prelates, earls, barons, and freeholders {lihere 
tcnentiim) ; and finally there is a statute by the same king 
that the earls, barons, and freeholders {lihere tenentes) of the 

although it has received the sane- inconsistent with the facts recorded 

tion of Mr. Hill Burton, it has been regarding them. Sir John Skene 

justly discarded by such historians states his position correctly when he 

as George Chalmers, Joseph Robert- says, ' Thanus was ane freeholder 

son, Cosmo Innes, and John Stuart. holding his lands of the king.'— 

The later theory, that the thanes De Verhorum Sig., sub voce. The 

were something entirely different reader is referred to the author's 

from the English thane, and were edition of Fordun, vol. ii. p. 414, 

merely cro^vn officers or stewards ap- for a discussion on this point, 

pointed to levy the crown dues, has ^^ ' Milites, Leg. Male. Mah., c. 2, 

unfortunately received the powerful and generalie in the auld lawes of 

sanction of these writers, but the this realme, are called freehalders, 

author has never been able to ac- haldand their landes of barons in 

cept the theory. It appears to him chief.'— Skene, De Verhorum Sig., 

a partial and incomplete vieM^, and sub voce. 


realm shall keep peace and justice among their serfs, and 
that they shall live as lords from their lands, rents, and 
dues, and not as husbandmen or sheep-farmers, wasting their 
property and the country with a multitude of sheep and 
beasts, thereby troubling God's people with penury, poverty, 
and destruction ; this curious statute showing not only the 
position of the libcrc tencntcs as proprietors, but that there 
was a tendency even at this early period to withdraw land 
from culture and convert it into pasture land.*^* Then in 
the Statutes of Alexander the Second there is one de modo 
duelli secundum conditioncm personarum, in which reference 
is made to the onilcs or knight, or son of a knight, or any 
libo'e tencns or freeholder in feodo militari or knight's fee. 
Again, in another law, the king statutes that if any miles or 
knight shall be indicted by inquest, he shall pass through an 
assize of good and leil knights, or of freeholders of heritage 
{Hbcox tcncntivm heredifarie)f^ and their position is clearly 
indicated by a provision in the Quoniam attachiamenta, that 
any freeholder {libcrc tencns) whose tenement is by his infeft- 
ment free from all service, shall fall to a lady by reason of 
her terce, and unwittingly did service to her, shall not be 
liable in similar service to his superior. '^'^ This view of the 
position of the liberc tencntcs as freeholders holding land 
under the thane or baron as sub-vassals of the Crown, is 
corroborated by a few charters which may be noticed. Thus 
Eobertus de Keth, lord of the same and of the barony of 
Troup and Marischall of Scotland, grants certain lands 
within the barony of Troup to his son John de Keth, with 
the bondmen, bondages, native-men, and their followers, but 
reserving to himself the superiority and service of the free- 
holders (libere tenentium) of the lands of Achorthi, Curvi, 
and Hayninghill, lying within the barony of Troup. Again, 

^^ AcU of Parliament, vol. i. *■"' Ih. vol. i. pp. 400, 403. 

pp. 375, .377, 380, 382. «' lb. p. 652. 




[book III. 

Morgund, sou of Albe, grants to lii.s son Michael one davach 
of his land of Carncors in Buchan, to be held of himself in 
fee and heritage for ever, as freely as any freeman (liber 
homo) can grant land ; and Alexander Cumyn, Earl of 
Buchan, grants to Fergus, son of John de Fothes, the tene- 
ment of Fothes, with its bondmen, bondages, native-men, 
and their followers, to be held of himself and his heirs in fee 
and heritage for ever, as freely as any freeman (liher houio) 
can hold (tenet) any tenement of any earl or baron within 
the kingdom, rendering such form in service to the king as 
pertains to their lands, and a half-pound of wax to us and 
our heirs in lieu of all secular service or demand which we 
can exact in future.*^^. This class appears to be meant by the 
Ogctlicarn of the old laws, who ranked next after the thaue.^ 
The second of Tordun's groups consists of those whom 
he terms libcri et gcncrosi, who held portions of land either 
for ten or for twenty years or during life, with remainder tO' 
one or two heirs. These were tlie tenants in the modern 

^ Ant. Ab. and Banff, s. 492, iii. 
112, iv. 116. The same loose uotions 
have prevailed of the ijositiou of the 
lihere tenentcs as of the thanes, and 
therefore it has been necessary to 
treat of both somewhat at length. 
Lihere ienentes are usually trans- 
lated 'free tenants, ' just as tenant 
du Eoi, in Ragman Roll, is usually 
transhited ' king's tenant,' as if they 
were tenants in the modern sense of 
the term, from the unfortunate pro- 
pensity to render a word in one lan- 
guage by its phonetic equivalent in 
another, though the meaning may 
be different ; but the true rendering 
of the one is ' freeholders,' and of 
the other, ' holding of the king in 
capite.' Ware defines the libej-e te- 
nentcs in Ireland as tliose qui pradia 
hahehunt, ad haredes transmittenda 
(Ant. Hib., 209) ; and Craig gives a 

very clear account of these in Scot- 
land [Jus feudale, 87. 6 ; 2-48. 28 ; 
362. 42). According to Cowell, 
' Freehold frank tenement, liberum 
tenementum, is that land or tene- 
ment which a man holdeth in fee,, 
feetail, or at least for term of life.'' 
Freeholders in the ancient law of 
Scotland were called milites ; and 
tenement or tenementum, he says, 
' signifies, most properly, a house 
or homestall, but moi-e largely 
either for a house or land that a 
man holdeth of another, and joined 
with the adjective Frank, it con- 
tains lands, houses, and offices, 
wherein we have estate for term of 
life or in fee. ' 

^* Ochiern, ' Ogitharius,' is ane 
name of dignitie and of ane free- 
halder. — Skene, De Verborum SUj. 


sense of the term. The former were the liberi firmarU of 
the statutes, or free farmers, and the latter the kiudlie 
tenants or tacksmen, who were usually near relations of the 
lord of the land, and when they had a liferent possession of 
land, occupied an intermediate position between the libere 
tenentes or freeholders and the firmarii or farmers, and may 
in fact be classed with either.''^ We find in this group a 
resemblance to the Ceilc or tenants of the Irish Laws in two 
respects. First, in the steelbow tenancy, by which many of 
these tenants held their land, and were sometimes called 
steelbow-men. By this tenure the landlord provided the 
stock and implements called steelbow goods, which were 
transferred to the tenant on valuation ; and he was bound 
on the termination of his lease to return stock and imple- 
ments to the same value, while the rent paid for the land 
was higher in proportion to the value of the steelbow goods. 
Secondly, the smallest possession held by a free farmer 
appears to have been two bovates or oxgangs of land, or the 
fourth of a ploughgate, called in some parts of the country 
a husband-land ; and we find that in the north of Scotland 
the name of Rath was given to this portion of land, a name 
which in the Irish Laws signified the homestead, which 
formed the lowest single tenancy. Thus William, son of 
Bernard, grants to the monks of Arbroath two bovates of 
land, which are called llath {qiic vocantur Ratltc), of the 
territory of Katerlyn (in Kincardineshire), with the right 
to pasture twenty beasts and four horses on the common 
pasture of Katerlyn ; and the same person grants to the 
monks two other bovates of land in the territory of Katerlyn, 
consisting of seven acres of land adjoining their land which 
is called Rathe, on the north, and nineteen acres of land 
adjoining these seven acres on the seaside towards the east,. 

^^ See Erskine's Institutes, vol. i. p. 370, for a good account of the 
rentallers or kindlie tenants. 

244 TlIK TIIIHI': IN SCOTLAND. [book iii. 

under that culture which is termed Trciglas, thus making 
up the twenty-six acres of which a husbandhand consisted.'^** 
The word Hath enters largely into the topography of Scot- 
laud, under the forms of Rait, as in Logierait ; Ra, as in 
Ramorny ; Rothy, as in Rothiemay and Rothiemurchus, 
anciently Rathmorch I's. 

The last of Fordun's groups consists of those termed 
Agricolce or husbandmen, holding land from year to year 
for rent {ad firmam). They are distinguished from the liheri 
or freemen, and belonged to the class of holders of servile 
tenements termed in the laws Rv.stici. This class of servile 
tenants seems to form the object of the first laws made by 
Alexander the Second on his accession in a.d. 1214. They 
fire issued at Scone, with the common council of his earls, 
for the profit of the country, and provide that the ' Rustici in 
those places and townships in which they were the previous 
year shall exercise their agriculture and not neglect their 
own profit, but shall begin to plough and sow their lands 
with all diligence fifteen days before the Feast of the Purifi- 
cation (second of February) ; and that those Agrestes who 
have more than four cows shall take land from their lord 
and plough and sow it, to provide sustenance for them and 
theirs ; and those who have less than five cows may not 
use them in ploughing, but shall labour the land with hands 
and feet, trenching and sowing as much as is necessary 
for the sustenance of them and theirs. Those that have 
oxen shall sell them to those that have land to plough and 
sow. Earls not allowing those who have such lands on their 
earldoms to do so shall forfeit eight cows to the king ; and if 
any one holding of the king shall neglect to do so, he shall 
forfeit eight cows to the king. If he hold of an earl, he shall 

'" Chart, of Arhroath, pp. 44, Treiglas is probably T'^-a/V/Z/^/t/ais or 
88. The word Urra, here translated sea-shore, from Traigh, strand ; and 
land, meansusiially arable land only. Glas, an old word for the sea. 


give the eaii eight cows. If he be a serf, his lord shall 
take from him one cow and one sheep, and thenceforth shall 
force him who will not do it of free will ; and the king adds 
the following warning to them to take heed that that does 
not happen to them which is taught in parables. He who 
will not plough in winter owing to severe cold shall beg in 
summer, and it shall not be given him, but rather according 
to the judgment of the apostle — Let them labour with their 
hands, working what is good, that they may have to give to 
those who are in necessity.' "^ 

The thanage then consisted, like all baronies, of two 
parts, demesne and that part given off as freeholds {libera 
Unementa) or tenandries. The demesne was held by the 
Thane of the king in feu-farm, and cultivated by the servile 
class, the bondmen and native-men, and the tenandries were 
either held of him in fee and heritage by the sub-vassals 
called freeholders or libere tenentcs, or occupied by the kindlie 
tenants and free farmers. 

Such was their position prior to the deatli of Alexander 
the Third, the last king of the old dynasty, and a similar 
description would apply to those thanages which did not 
form part of the crown lands, but were held under earls of 
the ancient earldoms north of the Forth as part of their 
demesne, ''- or of the Church. 

"^ Acts of Parliament, vol. i. p. 397. 

"- Quod rex debet habere forisfactum comitum si thani eorum reinanse- 
riint ab exercitu, etc. — Acts of Parliament, vol. vi. p. 398. 

246 Tin: TIIANAGKS and their extinction. [bookih. 


THE thanages and theiu extinction. 
Review of SucH beiiio- the process by which the ancient tribe in the 

the Than- . . . , 

ages and eastcm distncts passed into the thanage, the events which 
version into followed the death of Alexander the Third produced a change 
which entirely altered this position, so that the thanage in 
its original form may be said to have ceased with the dynasty 
of kings of which he was the last. The war with Eng- 
land which followed, the conflict between two families of 
Norman descent for the succession to the crown, the numer- 
ous confiscations of their respective partisans which accom- 
pained it and led to their possessions falling to the Crown 
and the final establishment of a Norman dynasty of kings, 
naturally created a great revolution in the land-tenure of 
Scotland ; the extension of the feudal holding of ward and 
relief became the established policy of the Crown, and the 
ancient Celtic tenures gradually gave way before the ad- 
vancing feudalism, and eventually disappeared under its 

After the wars of independence and succession we find 
most of the thanages had reverted to the Crown, and they were 
usually re-granted to Norman barons on a feudal tenure for 
military service. This will be illustrated by three charters of 
David the Second, all granted in the same year. By the first 
he infefts his cousin, Walter de Lesly, knight, heritably in the 
thanage of Aberkerdor and its pertinents in the county of 
Banff, and in the thanages of Kyncardyn ; and then follows 


this instructive clause : — ' Yet because perchance the heirs 
of the thanes who anciently held these thanages in feu-farm 
might recover these thanages to be held in future as their 
predecessors held them, we grant to our said cousin, that if 
these heirs, or any of them, recover these thanages, or any 
of them, our said cousin and his heirs shall hold and possess 
the services of the heirs or heir of the said thanes or thane, 
and the feu-duties or feu-duty anciently due from the than- 
ages or thanage.' This clause seems to have interposed no 
obstacle to the feudal tenure of the thanages being com- 
pleted, for it is followed by two charters to Walter de Lesly, 
— one of the fee of the thanages of Kyncardin, Aberluthnot, 
and Fettercairn, with their bondmen, bondages, and fol- 
lowers, and erecting the same into a feudal barony, with the 
usual jurisdiction, and under the obligation of rendering 
military service ; and another of the thanage of Aberkerdor, 
likewise erected into a barony in similar terms.^ 

A review of the thanages still existing at this time, with 
such information as the records afford us, will complete this 
view of their position. 

Beginning with the north, we find in the great province Tiianages 
of Moray and Ross but one thanage situated north of the and Ross. 
Moray Firth, that of Dingwall ; but we have merely a men- 
tion of its name in 1382 and 1383, when Euphame, lady of 
Eoss, resigned the thanage and castle of Dingwall in the 
hands of the king for a re-grant.^ Of the mythic thanage 
of Crumbachtyn or Cromarty, with which Wynton invests 
the usurper Macbeth, we find no trace whatever. Proceed- 
ing to the southern shores of the Moray Firth, we find a belt 
of thanages extending from the river Nairn to the Spey. 
Between the river Nairn and the burn of Letlien, which falls 
into the Findhorn near its junction with the sea, lay the 
four thanages of Dyke, Brodie, Moyness, and Cawdor. In 

' Refj. Mag. Si<j., pp. 66, 71. -' Robertson's Index, p. 124, No. 25. 

248 'riii; Tii.\XA(;i:s AMI 'JiiKii; kxtinctiox. [book mi. 

a charter by Alexander the Second to the bishop of Moray, 
in the twenty-fourth year of his reign (1238), he grants 
twenty-four marks of tlie feu-duty {feodofirma) of IMoythus 
or ]\Ioyness and sixteen marks of the feu-duty of Dike and 
Brothyn, by the hands of his feodijirmarii of these lands.^ 
In an Extent of the Lands of Kykavoc and Estir Gedeys in 
1295, William, thane of Moythes, and Donald, thane of 
Kaledor or Caldor, are among the jurors; and in 1311 
Michael, son of Malcolm, thane of Dyke and Brodie, is men- 
tioned ; but it is only with regard to the thanedom of Caldor 
that we have any information beyond the mere mention of 
the name. There is preserved at Caldor an original charter 
by Eobert the First to William, thane of Caldor, in which 
he grants to him in feu-farm (ad feodofirmam) the whole 
thanage of Caldor, with its pertinents, for an annual pay- 
ment of twelve marks, as was wont to be paid in the time of 
Alexander, king of Scotland, our predecessor last deceased, 
to be held by him and his heirs of us and our heirs heritably 
in feu-farm, rendering to iis the service due and wont to be 
rendered in the time of King Alexander.-^ This charter 
refers back to the time before the war of independence, 
when the thanage-tenure was still preserved intact. The 
thanage appears afterwards to have been held of the earls 
of Eoss, but in the forfeiture of the earl of Eoss in 1475 it 
fell once more to the Crown, and is confirmed by King James 
the Second to William, thane of Caldor ; and his whole lands 
are erected of new into a thanage, with the privileges of a 
barony, and the feudal holding by ward and relief is com- 
bined with the customary annual payment, — thus retaining 
the name of a thanage while the character of the tenure is 
altered.^ Among the lands incorporated in the new thanage 
were lands in the parish of Urquhart in the Black Isle, 

" Cliartularij of Mora ij, p. 34. 

■* TheThane-i of Cainlor, p. 8. " Ih. p. Tib. 


detached from the old thanage, and they afford a curious 
instance of the retention of the old Celtic name by a Gaelic- 
speaking population, for these lands became known by the 
term of Fearintosh or the ToishacJis land. Between the 
Lethen Burn and the Lossie lay the extensive thanage of 
Moravia or Moray, of which the forest of Darnaway appears 
to have formed a part.*" We find this thanage mentioned 
in the Eecords, but have no particulars of its history ; but it 
is no doubt from it that tlie family of De Moravia took 
its name, the earliest possession of this family having been 
Duffus, which, if not a part of it, was at least adjacent to 
the thanage. 

On both sides of the Lossie lay the thanage of Kilma- 
lemnok, the greater part of which forms the parish of St. 
Andrews ; and a charter by Archibald, Earl of Douglas, to 
James Douglas of Balvany, confirmed by King James the 
First, includes ' all his lands lying in the thaynedomes in 
the lordship of Kilmalaman.''' The only other thanage in 
this province of which any mention is preserved was that 
situated in the interior of the country, as in 1367 Joannes de 
Dolais was thane of Cromdale, a district on the river Spey, 
at some distance from its mouth.^ Besides the mention of 
these thanages, which are mainly to be found in the more 
level districts adjacent to the sea, we are not without indica- 
tions that tlie different classes which, according to Fordun, 
were connected with the thanages, likewise existed in the 
interior districts of this province. Thus in an agreement 
between the bishop of Moray and Walter Cumyn, between 
A.D. 122-4 and 1233, regarding lands in Badenocli, it is pro- 
vided with regard to the native-men {nativi), that the bishop 
shall have all the cleric and two lay native-men — viz. Gyl- 
lemaluock Macnakeeigelle and Sytliad mac Mallon, with all 

^ Record of Returns for Elgin, Nos. "25, 178. 

'' Reij. Mag. Sig., p. 47. " Shaw's Moray, p. •227. 


their cliattcls and possessions, and with their children and 
all their posterity, and the chattels of their children ; and 
Walter Cuniyn to liave all the other lay native-men of lands 
in Badenoch; and when, after the war of independence, 
Eobert the Bruce erected the whole lands extending from the 
Spey to the Western Sea into an earldom of Moray in favour 
of his nephew Thomas Randolph, the earldom was granted, 
with all its manors, burgh townships, and thanages, and all 
the royal demesnes, rents, and duties, and all barons and free- 
holders (libere tenentes) of the said earldom, who hold of the 
Crown in capitc, and their heirs were to render their hom- 
ages, fealties, attendance at courts, and all other services, to 
Thomas Eandolph and his heirs, and to hold their baronies 
and tenements of him and his heirs, reserving to the barons 
and freeholders the rights and liberties of their own courts 
according to use and wont ; and Thomas Randolph was to 
render to the king the Scottish service and aid due as here- 
tofore for each davacli of land.^ 
Thanages Crossing the Spey and entering the province of Mar and 

Buch'an. ' Buchan, a rental of the crown lands in the reign of Alex- 
ander Third furnishes us with the names of ten thanages, with 
their yearly values. These are Aberdeen, Kyntor, Fermartyn, 
Obyne, Glendowachy, Aberkirdor, Conuath, Bugh, Munbre, 
Natherdale.^^ Of these thanages we find a line extending 
from the shore of the Moray Firth to the eastern sea at Aber- 
deen, and separating the eastern portion of Buchan from the 
inland districts on the west. The first of these thanages 
extends along the shore from Cullen to Banff, and includes 
the parishes of Boyndie, Fordyce, Deskford, and Ordiquhill, 
forming the greater part of the district of Boyne, which, witli 
that of Enzie, makes up the modern county of Banff. It 
consisted of two parts, — the thanage of Boyne properly so 

^ Chartulary of Moray, pp. 83, 342. 
'" Chartulary of Aberdeen, vol. i. p. 55. 


called, containing the parish of Boyndie and parts of For- 
dyce and Banff, and the forest of Boyne adjoining it in the 
south. Of the early history of this thanage we have no 
information, till we find it converted into a feudal barony 
by King David ii., who grants a charter in 1368 to John 
de Edmounstone of his whole lands of his thanage of Boyne, 
with an annual rent of four pounds from the town of Banff, 
to be held as a barony, with the tenandries and services and 
homages of the freeholders (liherctcnentium). The forest of 
Boyne appears to have remained in the Crown.^^ 

East of this thanage was that of Glendowachy, also 
called Doune, which, in the Rental of Alexander the Third 
• is valued at twenty pounds yearly. It appears to have been 
granted by Eobert the First to Hugh, earl of Ross, but in 
1382 Robert the Second grants to John Lyounn, knight, the 
whole lands of the thanage of Glendowachy, which had 
fallen to him by escheat from tlie late William, earl of Ross, 
who had alienated it without the royal consent — to be held 
by him for the accustomed services. Adjacent was the 
small thanage of Munbre, valued in the Rental at thirty- 
four pounds eight shillings and eightpence.'- 

South of these thanages lay those of Aberkerdor and 
Natherdale, co-extensive with the parish of Marnoch, and 
that of Couveth, with the parish of Inverkeithnie. Of these 
thanages we have some information prior to the war of 
independence. Between 1286 and 1289, Simon, thane of 
Aberkerdor, founds the chapel of Saint Menimius on the 
banks of the Dovern, and grants certain lands to it ; and in 
an inquisition regarding this foundation in 1369, it is found 
that Simon was thane of the two thanages of Conveth and 
Aberkerdor, and owing to derelict against the king he had 
seized both thanages, on which Simon made over six davachs 

" Ant. Ab. and Banff, vol. ii. p. 130, 132. 
J- Ih. p. 363. 


of Coiiveth to the earl of Buclian, in order that he might 
recover the other thanage of Aberkerdor, and founded the 
chapel in consequence. He appears to have had an only 
daughter and heiress, and the thanage of Aberkerdor is 
found in the Crown in the reign of David ii., who includes 
it in the grant to Walter de Leslie formerly noticed ,^^ in 
whose favour it was erected into a barony. 

From the thanage of Conveth, co-extensive with the 
parish of Inverkeithnie, to the eastern seaboard between the 
Ythan and the Don, lay the extensive thanage of Fermartyn, 
the principal seat of which was Fyvie. Its annual value in 
the reign of Alexander the Third was 120 marks, and it 
appears to have been farmed by a tenant, as Eeginald Fir- 
marms de Fermartyn accounts in the Chamberlain Rolls of 
that reign for its Jirma or rent.^^ It consisted, like other 
large thanages, of thanage and forest, and among the missing 
charters of liobert the First is one to Sir John Broun of the 
thanage of Fermartyn, and another to Patrick de Monteath 
of the office of forestership of Killanell and Fermartyn, 
showing that the forest had become a royal forest ; David 
the Second, however, grants one-half of his thanage of Fer- 
martyn to William, earl of Sutherland, for his life, witli its 
tenandries and services of the freeholders (liheretenencium), 
and with its bondmen, and their bondage services, native- 
men and their followers, to be held in free barony, and his 
heirs to hold it in ward and relief. The other half of the 
thanage was held, as appears by the Chamberlain Rolls, by 
Thomas Isaak, but it appears to have again fallen to the 
Crown, and is finally granted by King Robert the Third as a 
barony to Henry de Prestoune, with the town and castle of 
Fyvie.^^ Adjacent to Fermartyn on the sea-coast was the 
smaller thanage of Belhelvie. We know nothing of its 

^'^ Ant. Ah. and Banff, vol. ii. p. 216. 

'^ Exchequtr Jiolh, vol. i. p. 21. '' Berj. Mag. Slg., 52, 183. 


history as a thanage prior to the war of independence, but 
in 1323 Eobert the Brace confirms to Hugo de Barclay for 
his homage and service the lordship of the thanage of Bel- 
helvie, with the lands of Westerton, Keer, and Egie, within 
the said thanage, with the office of sergand, and the Can of 
the church land of Belhelvie, extending to forty-pound land 
and rent, to be held as a free barony, rendering the Scottish 
service pertaining to a forty-pound land, and the lands to 
return to the king on failure of heirs of the body.^*^ 

Between the rivers Dee and Don, which formed the old 
earldom of Mar, were five thanages. The old town of 
Aberdeen, on the south bank of the Don, near its junction 
with the sea, appears as a thanage in the reign of Alexander 
the Third. It is included as such in the Eental of the crown 
lands with the annual value of fifty merks, and in the 
Chamberlain Eolls for 1264 the sheriff accounts for twelve 
pounds received from the thane of Aberdeen ; while in 358 
one-half of the thanage of Aberdeen appears in the Crown, 
and the other half in the hands of John Herys by concession 
of the king.^'' One of the missing charters of the reign of 
Robert the First is one to the burgh of Aberdeen of the 
forest of Stocket, which was no doubt the forest of the than- 
age. It merges after this time in the town and town lands 
of Aberdeen. 

One of the most important and instructive thanages 
between Don and Dee was that of Kyntor, now Kintore. 
It appears in the Rental of the crown lands in the reign of 
Alexander the Third, with the annual value of 101 merks, 
and in the Chamberlain Rolls of 1264 the sheriff receives 
£17:13:4 from the thane of Kintor. This thanage was of 
considerable extent, and, with the exception of a small part 
on the north side of the Don, extends along that river on its 
south side for about ten miles, and approaches on the south- 
^^ Ant. Ah, and Banff, vol. i. p. 286. ^'' Exchequer Rolls, i. pp. II, 551. 


cast to within a mile of the river Dee. In that part of the 
thanage which is separated from the rest by the river Don 
is the churcli of Kinkell, a name which sii,aiifies the chief 
cm or church. This church had several chapels dependent 
upon it. Five of these were the chapels of Kintore, Kemnay, 
Kinnellar, Skene, and Dyce, all now erected into separate 
parishes, and tliis gives us the extent of the ancient thanage. 
Part of the old parish of Kinkell lay on the south side of the 
river Don, and this part formed the lands of Thaneston, or 
the Thane's town. South of it lay the forest of Kintore, with 
the ancient keep of Hall forest. The name of the thanage, 
Kintore, contains the same prefix of Kin or Ceann, signify- 
ing chief, and the latter part of the word is probably Torr, a 
mound or castle. These two names of Kinkell and Kintore 
— the one the name of the principal chvu'ch, the other that of 
the thanage, or tribe territory which surrounded it — illus- 
trate a passage in the Book of Deer, wdiere we find mention 
of the burdens that fall ' on the chief tribe residences of Scot- 
land generally and on the chief churches ' {Arclmandaidib, 
Ardchcllaih). The charters which follow the war of inde- 
pendence show very clearly the different classes by whom 
the thanage was occupied. In 1324 Robert the First con- 
firms to Robert de Keith all the lands and tenements he held 
of the Crown i?i capitc, and these include the forest of Kin- 
tore ; ^^ but in the following reign it appears to have been 
in the Crown, as David ii. dates several of his charters 
from his manor of the forest of Kyntor ; ^^ but in 1407 
Robert, duke of Albany, confirms a charter by William de 
Keith to his son Robert de Keith of the lands and barony of 
Aldene, and of the forest of Kyntor, with the freeholders 
(liberetenentihus) of said lands and their services.-^ The 
thanage itself forms the subject of other grants. In 1375 

18 Ant. Ah. and Banff, i. 250. 

IS Reg. Mag. Sig., 24. 19, 43, 117. * Il>. 224. 14. 


Eobert the Second grants to John de Dunbarre, earl of 
Moray, all and whole our lands of the thanage of Kyntor, 
reserving, however, the tenandries, freeholders (liherdenenti- 
hus), lands of the freeholders, and the Cans, due to us from 
the said thanage, to be held as a barony, with the bondmen, 
bond services, native-men and their followers, for military 
service. This is followed by another charter in 1383, in 
which the lands of the thanage of Kyntor are granted, along 
with the tenandries, freeholders, and lands of the freeholders, 
and Cans due from the thanage reserved in the previous 
charter, but still reserving the tenandry of Thaynston. This 
tenandry appears, however, to have passed likewise to the 
earl of Moray, and to have been held under him by a family 
of the name of Gothynnis, and to have fallen to co-heirs, 
for in 1450 Katerina de Gothynnis sells to Thomas Wardrop 
the fourth part of the lands of Thaneston, in the thanage of 
Kyntor, and the fourth part of the annual rent of Kynkell. 
In 1465 James III. confirms to Thomas Wardrope of Gottinys 
the lands of Thaneston, with the annual rent of ten shillings 
from the lands of Kynkell; and in 1467 Alexander Ward- 
rope sells the lands of Thaneston, and the annual rent of 
thirty shillings from the lands of Kynkell, along with the 
township of Foulartoun, adjacent to said lands of Thane- 
ston, in the thanage of Kyntor, and all Cans of oats and . 
cheese, and all money in name of Ferchane due to him and 
his heirs from the lands of Kynkell and Dyse, within the 
said thanedom, rendering to our lord the king the usual 
and customary services. -^ The word here used of Fcrchaoie 
is the Gaelic equivalent of manred or manrcnt, the homage 
and service due by a bondman, which was by this time very 
generally commuted to a money payment, as we see from a 
rental of the bishopric of Aberdeen, dated in 1511, where the 
rent of each holding paid in kind concludes with a sum of 
-1 Ant. Ab. and Banff, i. 571. 


money amounting to 3s. 4(1. for each two ploughgates, p"t> 
huiuhujlo, in lieu of the services of the bondmen.-"- 

On Deeside, at some distance from its mouth, were three 
thanages — those of O'Neill, Birse, and Aboyue. The than- 
age of O'Neill is merely mentioned in a list of the second 
tithes due to the bishop of Aberdeen, who drew tithe from 
it, but as it is not contained in the rental of the crown lands 
in the reign of Alexander the Third, and the lands of O'Neill 
had fallen in that reign to the great nobleman Alan l)ur- 
ward, in part of a succession derived from the earls of Mar, 
it is probable that was a thanage held of these earls. The 
thanage of Birse lies on the south side of the river Dee, and 
is separated from O'Neill by that river, and of this thanage 
we have a very early notice, for King William the Lion in 
1 1 70 grants to the bishop of Aberdeen his whole lands of 
r>rass, now Birse, consisting of sixteen townships under the 
kirkton or church land, and likewise the royal forest of 
Brass, with all the native-men of these lands, the thanes, how- 
ever, being excepted. This exception is somewhat similar 
to the grant of the thanage of Kyntor with the exception of 
Thaneston, and as Thaneston was eventually conveyed by the 
Crown, so by a subsequent charter in 1241 Alexander the 
Second confers upon the bishops the right to hold the whole 
lands of Birse in free forest without excepting the thane's 
land, and thus terminated the thanage.-^ Farther up the 
Dee was the thanage of Obeyn, now Aboyne, from which 
likewise the bishop draws second tithes. In 1328 we find 
this thanage mentioned in the Exchequer Eolls as being 
then in the hands of Sir Alexander Fraser heritably. The 

■-■^ Chartulary of Aberdeen, vo\. i. the name of Boimach or Bonnage, 

p. 360. These services consisted till late in the eighteenth century, 

mainly of the obligation on the ten- Each tenant had to give three days' 

ants to cut the proprietor's corn. labour annually, which were called 

They continued to be exacted from his Bondage days. — Stat. Ace, 1433, 

the small tenants in many parts of vi. 146. 

the north-eastern Lowlands, under -'•' Jh. vol. i. pp. 12, 15. 


Jirma or reut of this thanage, amounting to £100, belonged 
in 1348 to the queen.-* 

Separated in part by the river Dee and in part by the Thanages 
great chain of the Mounth, and extending south as far as the aud "^ 
Firth of Tay, lay the great province of Angus and Mearns. -^''^^"'^• 
The latter earldom, wliich was much the smaller of the two, 
seems from an early period to have fallen to the Crown, and 
upwards of two-thirds of its territory was composed of 
thanages. These form two groups. The first extended from 
the river Dee to the Eastern Sea at Stonehaven, cutting off 
the north-east corner of the earldom, and consisted of the 
two thanages of Durris and Colly or Cowie. Both thanages 
were in the Crown as early as 1264, when we find the sheriff 
of Kincardine charging the expense of repairing the houses 
of Collyes and Durris, and both possessed forests which had 
become royal forests, for we find John, earl of Buchan, cvstos 
or keeper of these forests in 1292.-^ The earl of Buchan 
was forfeited in 130.5, and twenty years after, in 1328, King 
Eobert the First grants to Sir Alexander Eraser and his son 
John, the king's nephew, the forest of Cragy, in the than- 
age of Cowie, afterwards called the forest of Cowie, and in 
the same year there is the note of a missing charter to Sir 
Alexander Fraser of the thanage of Cowie. -'^ There is also 
a notice of a missing charter of King David the Second to 
"William Eraser and IVIargaret Murray his spouse of the 
thanage of Durris and thanage of Collie, which thanage 
of Collie was Alexander Eraser his father's, with the lands 
of Eskyltul, in Kincardine. In 1359 we find the bishop of 
St. Andrews accused of having unjustly obtained the Cans 
of the kirkton of Durris, but the sheriff, William de Keth, 
charges himself with the firma of the thanages of Colly 

-^ Exchequer Rolh, vol. i. p. clxxxi. 442. 

-•' Rotuli ScoticK, vol. i. p. 10. Exchequer Bolls, vol. i. p. 12. 

-'' Robertson's Index, pp. 17, 18. 

VOL. III. n 


and Durris, but uot the forest of Colly, which is said to be 
in his hands by concession of the king.^^ In 1369 King 
David II. grants to Alexander Fraser the lands of the than- 
age of Durris, which is erected into a barony, ^^ and the than- 
age of Cowie shared the same fate, as, though no charter is 
extant, Alexander Fraser, lord of the baronies of Colly and 
of Durris, grants in 1400 a charter in favour of his son of 
certain lands in the barony of Durris, which is confirmed by 
the kin ST. 29 Robert de Keith, son of William de Keith and 
Margaret Fraser, gets a charter from Robert ii. of ' the forest 
of Colly, the forest called the forest of the Month, the lauds 
of Ferachy, Glastolach, Cragy, Clochnahull, whilk of old was 
of the thanage of Colly and vicecom. Kincardin,'^*' 

The other group of thanages forms the southern part of 
Mearns, and extends from the Grampians to the sea. The 
most westerly are those styled the thanages of Kyncarden, 
and consist of those of Kyncarden, Fettercairn, and Aber- 
buthnot. These three thanages, with the park of Kyncardyn, 
the castle and the Cans of the same, appear in 1359 as in 
the hands of the Earl of Sutherland by royal concession.^^ 
Kincardine was from an early period a royal seat, and 
Robert the First confirms to Alexander Fraser six arable 
acres in the tenement of Auchincarie adjoining the royal 
manor of Kincardine. It embraces the greater part of the 
parish of Fordun, and as we find in it the name of Kinkell, 
there may probably have been a chief church corresponding 
to the name of Kincardine, as the same term of Kinkell did 
to Kintore. The thanage of Fettercairn is co-extensive with 
the parish of that name, and contained in it lands called the 

-^ Exchequer Rolh, vol. i. p. 586. ^^ Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 585. 

^ Beg. Mag. Sig., p. 68, No. 229. In later allusions to Fettercairn 

-^ Ant. Ah. and Banff, vol. iii. and Kincardine in these Rolls they 

p. 362. are always spoken of as convertible 

^'^ Robertson's Index, p. 117, names for the same Thanage. 
No. 72. 


Thanestone, that of Aberluthuot with the parish of Mary- 
kirk. How these three thanages became converted into 
feudal baronies has ah-eady been noticed. On the west side 
of Fettercairn was the small thanage of Newdosk, which 
once formed a parish, now united to Edzell. Among the 
notices of missing charters is one by David ii. to Eonald 
Chene of the thayndom of Newdoskis, and in 1365 he grants 
to Sir Alexander de Lyndesay all his lands in the thanage of 
Newdosk, to be held as a free barony.^^ 

On the west side of Kincardine was the important 
thanage of Aberbuthnot, now Arbuthnot. It contained 
twenty-three townships, beside the kirkton or church land 
of Arbuthnot. This thanage appears originally to have 
been co-extensive with the parish of Arbuthnot, and to have 
been broken up by King William the Lion, who grants the 
lands of Altrethis, now Allardyce, to the ancestor of that 
family, and the thanage itself to Osbert Olifaid the crusader, 
while the lands of Kair, consisting of four townships, and 
those of Inchbreck, appear as separate possessions. The 
entire parish appears to have contained fifty-four plough- 
gates of land, giving an average of two ploughgates or a half 
davach to each township ; but in the eighteenth century 
the separate possessions consisted of fourteen farms of two 
ploughgates each, twenty-two of one ploughgate, five of half 
a ploughgate, and six of a quarter ploughgate or husband- 
land.33 This is probably a fair enough picture of how the 
land had been occupied in older days by the different classes 
of its possessors, and if the ploughgate in the main repre- 
sents the Welsh Tref the entire thanage in its oldest state 
was the equivalent of the Welsh Cyimvd. 

A curious insight into the ancient state of this thanage 
is given us by a document, the original of which is pre- 
served at Arbuthnot House. It is a decreet of the Synod of 
"- Robertson's Index. ^^ Stat. Account (1791), vol. xvii. p. 387. 


Perth ill a cause betwixt AVilliam, bishop of St. Andrews, and 
Duncan de Aberbuthenot, in the year 1202. The church of 
Arbuthnot was in the diocese of St. Andrews, and the question 
related to the respective rights of the bishops of St. Andrews 
and of the Arbuthnots, who represented the old thanes, in 
the kirkton or church lands of Arbuthnot, and it preserves the 
evidence of the witnesses who were examined. The inquiry- 
extends over a period of more than half a century, and during 
the episcopate of four bishops. During the episcopate of 
Richard, who became bishop in 1163, Osbertus Olifard 
appears as lord of the land, and the kirkton is occupied by 
a multitude of Scolocs. Then in the time of Bishop Hugo 
his successor Osbertus Olifard goes on a crusade, and lets the 
land to Ysaac de Bonevin for six years, who is termed Jlr- 
marius, and the kirkton was then occupied by eight holders 
called 2^crsonce, having under them people having houses 
and pasturing beasts. Then, in the time of Bishop Roger, 
Walter Olifard, the next lord, gave his land of Arbuthnot to 
Hugo Swintun for his service, and his son Duncan was called 
De Aberbuthnot, removed the Scolocs, also called the native- 
men, from the kirkton, and first cultivated their land, that 
is, added it to his own demesne. These lords, from Osbert 
Olifard to Duncan of Aberbuthnot, evidently represented the 
old thanes, as it is said that no thane before Duncan had ever 
cultivated this land, nor that any thane had put a plough 
in that land before Duncan did so. Osbert Olifard, however, 
w^as, from his name, a Norman intruder, who had obtained 
it from the Crown after the thanages became crown land, and 
it seems to have passed in this way through many hands, as 
one witness had seen thirteen thanes possessing the land, 
but none of whom had vexed the men of the kirkton before 
Duncan. The result of the inquiry was that the bishop was 
entitled to Convcth from the men of the kirkton, and to a 
rent of two cows, and one-half of the Uodiuits and mercets, 
but the thane received the Ccm and ten cheeses from each 


house in the kirktoii; three men for harvest from each house, 
and men for the Exjicditio or Fcacht?^ This Duncan de 
Aberbuthnot was the ancestor of the noble family of Arbuth- 
not, who afterwards held the thanage as a barony. 

Next to Aberbuthnot was the small thanage of Morphie. 
It is mentioned in 1362 in the Exchequer Eolls, and among 
the missing charters by David ii. are two of annual rents 
furtli of the thanage of Morphie.^^ It is situated in the 
parish of St. Cyrus, formerly called Ecclesgreig, and here we 
come in contact with another designation of land which we 
noticed in a previous volume, viz., that of the Ahhacia or 
AWianric.^^ This was land which had formerly belonged to 
an abbey or monastery of the Columban Church, but had 
fallen to the Crown either by the monastery falling into the 
hands of lay abbots or by its extinction, and when they 
became crown lands we find them classed with the thanages. 
These Abthanries are in the main confined to the country 
lying between the great mountain chain of the Mounth and 
the Eirth of Forth ; and the first we meet with is that of 
Ecclesgreig, which was granted by I^ng William the Lion 
to the priory of St. Andrews. By his charter the king- 
conveys the church of Ecclesgreig, with the chapel of St. 
Eegulus, and with the half carucate or ploughland in which 
it is situated, and with the land of the ahhacia of Ecclesgreig, 
according to its ancient rights, and with its common pasture, 
canons, and men, and with my thane and my men through- 
out the whole parish of Ecclesgreig. The thane here 
mentioned seems to have been the thane of Morphie, as that 
thanage was within the parish, the rest of the land forming 
the ahhacia or ahtkanric ; and the thanage appears to have 
passed into the hands of David, earl of Huntingdon, as King 
Alexander the Second confirms the above grant with the 
exception of his thane and his men, and Earl David grants 

^ Misc. of Spaldhuj Club, vol. v. "'^ Robertson's Index, p. 32. 

p. 209. ^ See ante, vol. ii. p. 343. 


to the priory of St. Andrews ' the whole Can and Conveth 
which the canons were due to him for the land of Eccles- 
greig, and the services which their men were bound to 
render to him, which is confirmed by Earl John, his son.'^^ 

When we enter the earldom of Angus, which forms the 
southern and larger part of this province, we find that the 
thanages lie more apart, and bear a less proportion in extent 
to the whole land of the earldom. This arises from its 
greater importance, from its situation, its size, and the 
character of the land as a part of the territory in the heart of 
the kingdom, and the greater extent to which the land had 
been granted to foreign barons as feudal holdings. The oldest 
mention of the thanages in this earldom is in connection 
with the grants to the very ancient church of Eestennot, 
near Forfar. A charter by David the Second in 1344 
narrates that the kings Malcolm (Ceannmor), Alexander (the 
First), and David (the First), had granted to the prior and 
canons of Eestennot, besides other donations, the tithe of all 
the fruits of their thanaoes and demesne lands, whether in 
money or in kind, within the sheriffdom of Forfar, which he 
confirms ; and King Eobert Bruce, in a charter confirming 
various rights and privileges to the prior and canons of 
Eoustinot in 1322, which they had possessed in the time of 
Alexander the Third, includes the sum of twenty shillings 
and tenpence received annually from the thanage of Tliana- 
cJiayis or Tannadyce, and the second tithes of the thanages 
of Old Monros, Duney, Glammes, Kingaltevy, and Ahcrleme- 
nach or Aberlemno, and likewise of the three bondages or 
servile lands of Forfar, viz., Trebog, Balmeshenor, and Ester- 
forfar, six merks from the barony of Ketnes, and forty 
shillings and a stone of wax from the barony of Brechen ; 
while a decreet of the deputies of the earl of Eoss, as Justi- 
ciary of Scotland north of the Forth in 1347, finds that the 
37 Charlulary of St. Andrews, pp. 229, 234, 238, 240. 


prior was entitled to payment of the tithes of the thanages 
of Monyfoth and Menraur, as well as the other thanages and 
and royal lands within the shire of Forfar.^^ 

The thanages within the earldom of Angus fall into two 
groups in the northern and southern parts of the earldom 
respectively. Of the northern group the beautiful valley of 
Clova, through which flow the upper waters of the South Esk, 
forms the most westerly of the thanages, that of Cloveth or 
Clova. In 1328 King Eobert Bruce grants to Donald, earl 
of Mar, his whole thanage of Cloveth, with two pendicles of 
land called Petnocys, to be held in fee and heritage for pay- 
ment of ?^firma of twenty pounds, and rendering the carriages 
and other small services due and customary in the time of 
Alexander the Third ;39 and in 1359 the sheriff of Forfar 
debits himself with nothing from the thanage of Cloveth and 
the two Lethnottys, which return annually forty-two pounds, 
because it is in the hands of the earl of Mar, but by what 
title he knows not.^° Here we find the pendicles of land 
termed Petnocys in the charter are called Lethnottys in the 
rolls, which throws some light on the meaning of Pit as a 
denomination of land. Leth means the half of anything, and, 
as we have seen, was applied to the half of a penny land. It 
here probably refers to the half of a ' villa ' or township ex- 
pressed by ' villula.' Clova appears in the Ptccord of Eetours 
as a barony containing the kirkton and other seven townships, 
and as having a manor-place, mill, glens, and forests. *^ 

Proceeding along the course of the South Esk, we find on 
its north bank the thanages of Kingaltevy and Tannadyce, 
forming the parish of that name. The thanage of Kingaltevy 
appears to have remained in the Crown as late as the reign 
of Robert the Second, as that kim? grants in 1386 to Sir 
Walter de Ogilvy for his service an annual rent of twenty- 

^ Charters of Rostenoth. •*» Exchequer EolU, vol. i. p. 588. 

^9 Ant. Aberd. and Banff, vol. iv. -^ Retours for Forfar, Nos. 377, 

P- 711. 507. 


nine pounds tlue and arising to him from the thanage of 
Kyngaltevy in the sheriffdom of Forfar, but it appears in the 
retours as a barony.^'- The thanage of Taunadyce, however, 
was granted by David the Second first to Peter Prendergast, 
and afterwards to Sir John de Logy and the heirs of his 
body, to be held blank for payment of a red falcon ; and in 
connection with this thanage we have a manumission by the 
same monarch, the terms of which it will be interesting to 
preserve. It is termed a charter of liberty, and is addressed 
to all good men to whom these presents may come, and pro- 
ceeds thus : — ' Be it known to you, that we have made 
William the son of John bearer of these presents, who, as 
we are told, was our serf and native man of our thanage of 
Tannadyce, within the sheriffdom of Forfar, our free man, as 
well as all who proceed from him, so that he and all proceed- 
ing from him, with all his progeny, shall be free to dwell 
within our kingdom wherever he will ; and we grant to the 
said William and all proceeding from him that they shall 
be free and quit of all native servitude in future.' ^^ In the 
retours this thanage too appears as a barony.** 

Adjoining Tannadyce on the east, but on the south bank 
of the river, was the thanage of Aberkmenach or Aberlemno. 
Among the missing charters of King Eobert Bruce is one to 
William Dishington of Balgassie, in the thanage of Aber- 
lemnoche, and two to William Blunt, one termed ' ane bound- 
ing infeft ' of the thanage of Aberlemnoche, and the other ' of 
the mains of Aberlemnoche bounding;'*^ but in 1365 King 
David the Second grants to Sir William de Dysschynton his 
lands of Balmany and mill of Aberlemnache, and his lands 
of Tolyquonloch, and the annual rent of Flemyugton, in the 
thanage of Aberlemnache, for military service.**^ North of 

^'- Beg. Mag. Sig., p. 171; Be- ^ Betours for Forfar, 5o6. 

tours for Forfar, 116. •*' Eobertson's Index, pp. 18, 23. 

*' Beg. Mag. Sig., pp. 32, 72. '^'^ Beg. Mag. Sig., p. 44. 


Aberlenuio, and separated Irom it by the parish of Brechin 
lay the thanage of Menmuir. This thanage appears in the 
reign of David the Second as possessed by three persons, for 
he contirnis a charter granted to the prior and canons of Eos- 
tynot by Andrew Dempster, Finlay, son of William, and John 
de Cullus, lords of the lands of Menmuir, regarding the tithes 
of these lands,'*'^ and in the retours it appears as a barony. 

On the shore in the north-east corner of Angus was 
the thanage of Old Monros or Monrose, and like Morphie 
this thanage was connected with an dbthanric, for King 
William the Lion, in his foundation charter of the monastery 
of Aberbrothok, includes in his grant the church of St. Mary 
of Old Monros, with the church land, which in Scotch is 
called Abthen ; and in a subsequent charter grants to Hugo 
de Eobesburg, his cleric, the lands of the abbacy of Munros, 
to be held of the monastery of Arbroatli.'*^ Two thanages 
are mentioned in close vicinity to it. On the south bank of 
the Esk was the thanage of Kynnaber, from which an annual 
rent of seven merks was granted by King Eobert i. in 1325 
to David de Grame ; and on the south side of the water of 
Luan was the thanage of Edevyn, now Idvies. Two thanes 
are mentioned, viz., Gilys Thayn de Edevy in 1219, and 
Malys de Edevyn in 125 4, but we have no further informa- 
tion with regard to either.^^ On the shore farther south 
was the thanage of Inverkeillor. This thanage appears as 
early as the reign of William the Lion to have been held 
feudally by the family of De Berkeley, for AValter de Berke- 
ley grants to the church of Saint Macconoc of Innerkeledur 
(Inverkeillor), and Master Henry, its parson, the king's cleric 
and mine, the Grescane, and every service which the church 
land and the men dwelling theron were wont to render to 
the Thanes of Inverkeillor, and afterwards to myself ; and 

^" Reg. Mcuj. Sir/., p. 43. ^^ Jb. pp. 163, 325. Hist. MSS. 

^^ Chart, of Arbroath, pp. 4, 07. Eep. ii. p. 16G. 



frees them from the Grescane and every cane and rent be- 
longing to us or to any lay person, with the right of common 
pasturage along witli liim and his men throughout the whole 
territory of Inverkeillor. This grant is confirmed by King 
William,^" and presents an analogous case to that of Arbuth- 
not, whose cane was payable by the kirkton or church land 
to the thanes, and afterwards to the feudal lord. 

Of the southern group of thanages the most westerly, 
situated in the south-west corner of Angus, was the thanage 
of Kathenes or Kettins, the only notice of which is the 
appearance in 1264 of Eugenius, thane of Kathenes, as pos- 
sessing a large grange ; ^^ but there appears to have been in 
connection with it an abtlianrie, as certain lands in the parish 
are termed in the retours ' the lands called Abden of Ketins.' 
They form but a small part of the parish, the larger portion 
probably forming the thanage. North-east of Kettins, and 
separated from it by the parish of Newtyle, was the much 
more important thanage of Glammis, which possesses a ficti- 
tious interest from its supposed connection with the career 
of Macbeth. It too makes its first appearance in 1264, 
when we find a payment of sixteen merks to the Thane of 
Glammis for the lands of Clofer and Cossenys, subtracted 
from the thanage of Glammis; and in 1290 the sheriff of 
Forfar accounts for twenty-seven cows as the Waytinga of 
one and a half nights of the thanage of Glammis during two 
years. ^^ After the war of independence this thanage appears 
to have remained in the hands of the Crown till the reign 
of Eobert the Second, when in the second year of his reign 
he grants to John Lyon his whole lands of the thanage of 
Glammis, erected into a barony, with the bondmen, bond- 
ages, native-men and their followers, and with the tenandries 
and services of the freeholders {liherctcnencium)P 

•^'0 Chart, of Arbroath, pp. 38, 39. «^ lb. pp. 8, 50. 

^' Exchequer Rolls, i. p. 10. ^* Reg. Mag. Sig., p. 124. 


On the shore of the Firth of Tay we find the thanedom 
of Monifieth, of which the only notice is a missing charter 
by King Eobert Bruce to Patrick, his principal physician, of 
the lands of Balugillachie, within the thanage of Monifieth, 
but here we likewise meet with an abthanrie ; the distinction, 
however, between the two is here apparent, for during the 
reign of Alexander the Second we find that the former was, 
like most thanages, held of the Crown, while the latter 
belonged to the earls of Angus. Thus King Alexander 
grants to the monastery of Arbroath ten merks annually, 
paid each year from his Jirma or rent of Monifieth ; while 
Malcolm, earl of Angus, in the same reign, grants to Nicholas, 
son of Bricius, priest of Kerimure, and his heirs, in fee and 
heritage, the whole lands of the abthcin of Munifeth.^* 
Adjoining Monifieth, in the adjacent parish of Monikie, was 
the last of the Forfarshire thanages — viz., that of Duny or 
Downie. In 1359 the sheriff charges himself with nothing 
from the thanage of Duny, because it was then in the hands 
of the earl of Sutherland heritably through his marriage 
with the king's sister.^^ But, at the same time, when Eobert 
the Second erected Glammis into a barony in favour of John 
Lyon, he grants a similar charter in favour of Sir Alexander 
de Lyndesay of all and whole his lands of the thanage of 
Downy, erected into a barony, with the bondmen, bondages, 
native-men and their followers, and with the services of the 
freeholders {liherctcnencium) of the said barony.^^ In con- 
nection with this thanage we find the waste land termed the 
Moor of Downie.^'' 

Crossing the Firth of Tay and entering the province of Thanages 

in Fift* and. 

Fife and Fothriff, we find the thanages few in number and Fothriff. 
at some distance from each other, and this arises from the 
land having been extensively granted at an early period 

^^ Chart, of Arbroath, -pj). 204,3.30. ^ Beg. Mag. Sig., p. 88. 

^^ Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 589. ^^ i?e<0!</-s/bri^or/a.r,Nos. 424,449. 


as feiulul holdings to the Sa.xoii and Norman followers of 
the king. In Fife we lind traces of three thanages, and in 
Fothriff of two. Those of Fife are, first, Kinneir in the 
parish of Kilmany. We have no early notice of Kinneir 
as a thanage, but it was afterwards a barony ; and among 
the lands belonging to the barony we find mention of the 
thainis lands, viz., those of Straburne, Fordell, and Fotheris. 
Not far from it was the thanage of Dervesin or Dairsy. In 
a charter granted by Ernald, bishop of St. Andrews, to the 
church of St. Andrews, of the church of Dervesin, with a 
carucate of land in that township, in his demesne, among 
the witnesses is Hywan, son of Malcothen, Thain de Der- 
vesin ; and in the retours it appears as the barony and 
demesne lands of Dairsie.^^ In the parish of Cairnbee, 
not far from the shore of the Firth of Forth, we find the 
thanage of Kelly. When King David the First granted to 
the priory of May the lands of Balugallin, they were peram- 
bulated among others by Malmure, Thain de Chellin or 
Kelly, and among the missing charters of Eobert the First 
is one to William Seward of the barony of Kelly.^^ In Foth- 
riff we find in the interior the thanage of Falkland, mentioned 
at a very early period ; for among those who perambulated 
the marches between Kyrkness and Lochore in the reign of 
Alexander the First was Macbeath, Thaynetus de Falkland, 
and we find that it afterwards became a royal forest.'^'* 
The only other thanage was that of Kinross/'^ We find in 
1264, I de Kynross, sheriff of Kynross, accounting for the 
Waytinga of four nights in the year, amounting to forty 

^^ Chart, of St. Andrcu-s, p. 128; thanage of Fordell, as in 1451 we 

Retoum, Fife, 1370. find a grant to the monastery of 

■'^ Chart, of May, p. 2 ; Robert- Dunfermline by John, Thane de 

son's Index, p. 25. Fordell, and Alexander Thain, his 

^ Chart, of St. Andrews, p. 117 ; son; but from the late date it is 

Retours, Fife. 131. possible that this may have been a 

^^ On the shore of the Firth, near proper name. — Chart, of Duvferm- 

North Queensferry, M^as probably a line, p. 32U. 


COWS, besides pigs, cheese, and grain. This burden indicates 
that it had been a thanage, and it appears as such in the 
reign of Eobert the First, when an inquisition was held at 
Kinross, on the 23d September 1323, regarding the lands of 
the forest of Kinross, and these lands were separated from 
the thanage of Kinross. It afterwards appears as a barony, 
with the castle, lake, and fishings of Lochleven.*^'- 

Crossing the range of the Ochils and entering the ancient Thanages 
earldom of Stratherne, we find one of the earliest residences eme.'^ ^' 
of the old Scottish kings appearing as a thanage. In the 
reign of Alexander the Third the thane of Forteviot has to 
answer to the king for twenty merks, and we find the sheriff 
of Perth subsequently accounting for the firma or rent- 
charge of the land of William of Forteviot ;^^ while King 
Eobert the First grants in 1314 to the church and canons 
of Inchaffray his lands of Cardnay and Dolcorachy in the 
thanage of Forteviot. It appears in the retours as a barony.*^^ 
In this earldom we meet for tlie first time with a thanage 
held of the earl and not of the Crown. The foundation- 
charter of the abbey of Inchaffray, granted by Gilljert, earl 
of Stratherne, in the year 1200, is witnessed among others by 
Anechol Theinus or thane of Dunine, now Dunning ; and in 
a subsequent charter the same earl terms him ' Anechol, my 
thain of Dunyn.' In 1247 a charter is granted by Malise, 
earl of Stratherne, to the abbey of Inchaffray, of twenty 
merks annually from the thanage of Dunyne and Peticarne, 
to be received for all time in future from the hands of those 
who hold the said lands for the time being ; and in confirma- 
tion of this grant he addresses a mandate to Bricius, thane 
of Dunin, to see twenty merks at Dunin from the firma 
due to the earl, paid to Inchaffray. The descent of these 

*'2 Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 16 ; '^'^ Exchequer BolL^, i. pp. 18, .534. 

Roberbson's Index, 28 ; Retours, '^ Chart, of Inchaffray, p. 24 ; 

Kinross, 2. Retours, Perth, 305. 


thanes of Duiiing can, however, be ascertained from the 
Chartulary. The most powerful family next to the earls 
was that of the seneschals or stewards of Stratherne. They 
descend from Gilleness, seneschal of Stratherne in the time 
of Earl Gilbert, who had two sons — Malise, who appears as 
seneschal in 1220, and Anechol, who was thane of Duning. 
From i\Ialise proceeded a line of seneschals, the succession to 
which was carried by a daughter to the Drummonds. Anechol 
was succeeded as thane of Duning by Bricius, who likewise 
appears as thane of Duning ; but in the time of Kobert, earl of 
Stratherne, the son of INIalise, the seneschalship had fallen to 
him likewise, and he witnesses a charter of that earl as 'Bricius 
de Dunin, his seneschall.' ''^ The lands of Duning and others 
were erected into the barony of Duncrub in favour of 
Andrew EoUo of Duncrub in 1540; and among the lands 
we find the thane lands also called Edindonyng. *^^ One of 
the charters by Earl Gilbert, which is witnessed by Anechol, 
thane of Dunin, is likewise witnessed by Duncanus, Thauus 
de Struin. This is the only notice of this thanage, but the 
name corresponds with that of the parish of Strowan on the 
south bank of the Earn above Crieff. It is now united with 
the parish of Monzievaird, from which it is divided by the 
river. It was probably a thanage also held of the earl, 
and the old family of the Toschachs of Monzievaird no doubt 
derived their name and descent from its Toschach or thane. *^'' 
Tiinnages North of the earldom of Stratherne, and within the range 

of the Grampians, lay the ancient earldom of Atholl. It is 
from this district that the royal dynasty emerged which ter- 
minated with Alexander the Third, the founder of the house 
having been lay abbot of Dunkeld, and possessor of the 
abthanrie of Dull,''^ and from his son Duncan proceeded not 

^ Chart. o/Inchaffray.s. 15,16,28. ^'^ Chart, of Inchaffray, p. 20; 

66 Third Report of MS. Commis- Retours, Perth, 140, 471, 729. 
sion, 406 ; Retours, Perth, 954. 68 Crinau, the founder of the 


only the kings of Scotland, but likewise the ancient earls of 
Atholl. The ahtJianric of Dull was a very extensive dis- 
trict, and embraced a large portion of the western part of the 
earldom, and may be viewed as the original patrimony of the 
royal house. It contained within it two thanages, viz., those 
of Dull and of Fothergill, now Fortingall. Thus we find Alex- 
ander the Second issuing a mandate addressed to his theyns 
and other good men of Dul and Forterkil, in which he grants 
to the canons of Scon the right of taking materials from his 
thanages of Dul and Forterkil for the work at their church of 
Scon.*'^ In the reign of Alexander the Third we find in 1264 
Alan the Hostiary bound to account for the Jirma of Dull, and 
in 1289, Duncan, earl of Fife, is Firmarius or renter of the 
manor of Dull,therent for two years being five hundred pounds 
seven shillings and fourpence.''*^ He is also keeper of the prison 
of Dull, but while the abthanrie with its two thanages is thus 
in the Crown, the church of Dull, with its chapels of Foss and 
Branboth in Glenlyon, belonged to the earls of Atholl, and 
was granted by Malcolm, earl of Atholl, to the priory of St. 
Andrews after the death of William his cleric. This grant 
is confirmed by the bishop of Dunkeld, reserving a right to 
give the latter, to the extent of ten merks, to a vicar, and an 
annual rent of twenty shillings due to him and his clergy 
from the Abthanrie of Dull.'^^ By king David the Second the 
bailiary of the abthain of Dull w^as granted to John Drum- 
mond, and in his reign the thanages began to be broken up, 
for he grants a charter to John de Loorne, and Janet, his 
spouse, and our cousin, of the whole lands of Glenlion; 
another to Donald M'Xayre of the lands of Estirfossach or 

house, is termed in the Chronicles ®^ Liber de Scon, p. 41. 
abbot of Dunkeld, and by Fordun 

Abthanus de Dull. There was no '■" Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 348. 
such title as abthanus, but the ab- 
thanrie of Dull appears in the Crown ''1 Chartulary of St. Andreivs, 
from the earliest period. pp. 245, 295. 


Foss, in tlie abtlmnrio of Dull, wliicli bad been resigned by 
Hugo de Jjarclay ; and a tliird to Alexander ]\Ieinzies of the 
barony of Fothergill, in the county of Perth."- 

Besides these thanages lield of the Crown, we find mention 
of two held of the earl of Atholl, and two of the bishop of 
Dunkcld. On the north bank of Loch Tay was the thanage of 
Cranach,but it no sooner appears in the records than it vanishes 
as a thanage, for it passed into the Menzies family, and 
among their writs is a charter by David de Strathbogie, earl of 
Atholl and Constable of Scotland, to Sir Eobert de Meygnes, 
knight, son of Sir Alexander de Meygnes, for his homage and 
service, of the whole thanage of Cranach, in the earldom of 
Atholl, with the lands of Cranach, Achmore, Kynknoc, the two 
Ketherowes, and Achnechroish, as a feudal holding for mili- 
tary service. The other thanage lay in the valley of Glentilt, 
near Blair, and of it we have more particulars. The earldom 
of Atholl had become vested in the person of Eobert, Steward 
of Scotland, and before he succeeded to the throne in 1371 
he grants a charter, as Lord of Atholl, which is undated, to 
Eugenius, thane of Glentilt, brother of Eeginald of the Isles, 
of the whole thanage of Glentilt, being three davachs of land, 
for his faithful service, to be held of him in fee and heritage 
for ever, for payment of eleven merks in money, and the car- 
riage of four horses once a year for hunting in the forest of 
Bencromby if demanded. There is a provision that should 
the yearly value of the thanage at any time not reach the 
sum of eleven merks, he is to pay such sum as may be fixed 
by an assize of the inhabitants of Strathguye and of those 
dwelling in the thanage. There is then a retour at Logyraite 
in the court of the earl of Athole, by which, on 29th July 
1457, Andrew de Glentilt is served heir to his father John le 
thane de Glentilt, in the lands of Petnacrefe in Strathguay ; 
and a charter of sale, in 1461, by Andrew, thane of Glentilt, 
"- Reg. Ma;/. Skj. , 74 ; Robertson's Index, 57. 


to Jolin Stewart of Fothergill, of the lands of Achnamark- 
iiiore, to be held of himself ; and this is followed by a notarial 
instrument taken on the sale by Finlay ' le thane de Glen- 
tilt,' son and heir of the late Andrew le thane de Glentilt, on 
27th April 1647, of the right of reversion of these lands for 
twenty pounds, payable in one day between sunrise and sun- 
set. There is then a precept of sasine by Findlay, thane of 
Glentilt, in favour of Neill Stewart of Fothergill, as son and 
heir of Neill Stewart of Fothergill, of the lands of Achnamark- 
more, given at Glentilt on 4th June 1500, in presence of 
John, Thane, son and heir-apparent of Findlay, and on 13th 
August 1501 a charter of sale by Finlay, thane of Glentilt, 
to Elenore, countess of Atholl, of Kincraigy. We have then 
two charters of even date, granted by John, earl of Atholl, 
and superior of All and Whole the lands of the Thanagiuni 
Ahnatliie, or the thanedom of Glentilt, to John Stewart, his 
son and heir, of the said lands Thanafjii Ahnathie, or le 
thanedom of Glentilt, which formerly belonged to Finlay 
Toschach, thane of Glentilt, and which he voluntarily 
resigned, as is proved to us by his corporal oath sworn on 
the holy evangels of God. The earl's seal and the seal of 
Finlay Toschach are appended, at Dunkeld, the last day of 
May 1502, and these charters are confirmed by a charter 
under the Great Seal on 2d July 1502, of the thanage, with 
the bondmen, bondages, native-men and their issue.'^^ Accord- 
ing to this charter the thanage contained seventeen town- 
ships, including the two tenandries of Achnamarkniore and 
Kincraigy, giving an average of about the sixth part of a 
davach to each township ; and we here see the family, which 
originally descended from that of the Isles, adopting the 
name of Toschach, from their designation of Thane. From 

"■' These charters are, or were, in his account of the Atholl charters 
tlie Atholl charter- chest, biit are in the Seventh Report of the Hist. 
not noticed by Mr. W. Fraser in 2ISS. Commission, p. 703. 



them no doubt proceeded the M'liitoshes of Tiriuy in Glen- 
tilt, which is included among the lands of the thanage/''' We 
find mention of two other thanages in Atholl, but it is not 
very clear whether they were held under the earl, or under 
the bishop of Dunkeld. King William the Lion confirms to 
the church and canons of Scone a grant made to them by 
Malcolm, earl of Atholl, of the church of Loginmahedd, now 
Logierait, with its chapels of Kilchemi, Dunfolenthi, Kel- 
kassin, and Kelmichelde Tulimath, and with all its other 
lawful pertinents ; but John, bishop of Dunkeld, grants and 
confirms to the abbots and canons of Sconie the church of 
Logymahedd, in Atholl, with the full tithes, benefices, and 
rights lawfully pertaining to said church, viz., of Eath, which 
is the chief seat of the earldom {cajmt comitatiis), and of the 
whole thanage of Dulmonych, and of the whole thanage of 
Fandufuith, and with these chapels, Kylkemy, Dunfoluntyn, 
Kilcassyn, Kilmichell of Tulichmat, and all pertinents of 
said chapels, and a toft in Logyn, with common pasture, as 
is contained in a charter of Earl Henry J^' The Bath or fort 
is still visible on a height between the two rivers at the 
junction of the Tay and the Tummel, and the modern names 
of the places where the four chapels were situated are Killi- 
chaugie, Dunfallandy, Killichassy, and Tullimet, and they 
are all within the parish of Logierait, but the two thanages 
seem not to have been included in Earl Malcolm's charter, 
and are situated within the territory termed the bishopric of 
Dunkeld, now the parish of Little Dunkeld, for Fandufuith 
is now Fandowie in Strathbraan, and Dalmonych is probably 
Dalmarnoch, on the south bank of the Tay, in the same 
parish. We have no other notice of these thanages, 
Thanages Between the earldom of Atholl and the province of Fife 

"5 Mr. lunes, iu his Legal Anti- Tiriny in Atlioll with the M'ln- 

quities, p. 80, where a short notice toshes of Monzievaird in Strath- 

of the thanage is given, inadver- erne, 

tently confounds the M'Intoshes of '" Liber de Scon, pp. *21, 36. 

in Gowrv. 


and Fothriff, and separated from the latter by the Firth of 
Tay, lay the earldom of Gowry. In the account of the seven 
provinces of Scotland prior to the Scottish conquest, this 
earldom formed one province along with that of Atholl ; but 
after the Scottish dynasty was seated on the throne it was 
attached to the province of Fife and Fothriff. It was the 
heart of the kingdom, as within it was situated the royal 
seat of Scone, where, as Fordun rightly tells us, ' both the 
Scottish and Pictish kings had whilom established the chief 
seat of government ; ' and from an early period it appears 
to have belonged to the royal family, as Bower makes the 
curious statement that Alexander the First had received at 
his baptism, as a donation from his father's brother the earl 
of Gowry, the lands of Lyff and Invergowry, where, after 
he became king, he began to build a palace, and finally 
conferred them upon the abbey of Scone. These lands are 
in fact contained in the foundation-charter of Scone by 
Alexander the First, and that the earldom had been the 
appanage of Donald Bane, who alone can be meant, is pro- 
bably true enough." 

In the reign of Malcolm the Fourth, who confirms the 
foundation-charter of Alexander the First, we find mention 
of the four royal manors of Gouerin or Gowry paying Can 
to the king, and these were Scon or Scone, Cubert or 
Coupar-Angus, Forgrund or Longforgan and Stratherdel ;. 
and these appear to have been likewise royal thanages. 
Thus Alexander the Second grants to the canons of Scone, 
in exchange for tithes which they exacted irom the lands 
of Forgrund, one net of his fishings in the thanage of Scone, 

'''' Scotichronicon, B. vi. c. 36. the claim of Cumyn to the crown 

Donald Bane is improperly made of Scotland, through his grand- 

by the peerage-writers father of daughter, shows that he left no 

Madach, first earl of Atholl, and male descendants, and that there 

progenitor of these earls ; but there were no subsequent earls of Gowry 

is no real authority for this ; and adds probability to the fact. 


two acres oi" land in the territory of Scone where the Canon's 
Well is situated, and a perpetual lease of his demesnes of 
liath and Kynfaunes in Gowry ; and finally King Robert 
the First grants to the abbot and canons of Scone the whole 
thanage of Scone, with all its pertinents J^ Strathardell, too, 
was a thanage, as we find a charter granted in the reign of 
William the Lion by Laurence of Abernethy of the church 
of Abernethy to the monks of Arbroath is witnessed by 
Macbeth, sheriff of Scon, thane of Strathardel ; "^^ and though 
we have no notice of the royal manors of Cupar and For- 
grund being termed thanages, it is probable that they were so. 
North of Cupar, however, was the thanage of Alyth, in 
which was situated the royal castle of Invercuych, as we 
find Robert the Second granting to Sir James de Lyndesay 
All and Whole the lands of Aberbothry, as also the place of 
the royal castle of Invercuyth and all the lands which be- 
longed to John de Welhame and John de Balcasky, in the 
thanage of Alyth, to be held as a barony ; and the same 
monarch includes the thanage of Alyth with its pertinents 
in a subsequent charter to Sir James de Lyndesay of the 
castle and barony of Crawford and other lands ;^° and in 
connection with this thanage there appears to have been 
a forest, as in two charters of King David the Second to 
the canons of Scone, Alyth is mentioned among the royal 
forests.^^ As Alyth with its royal castle was at the north- 
east extremity of Gowry, so we find at its north-west 
boundary the thanage and royal castle of Kinclaven, on the 
west bank of the Tay, near its junction with the river Isla. 
We find notices of the repair of the castle in 1264, while 
the sheriff of Perth accounts for its firma, and King Robert 
the Second grants to his illegitimate son, John, his lands of 

"* Liher de Scon, pp. 0, 41, 45, '**' Bey. Marj. Sig., pp. 137, 172. 

46, 95. 

'» Chart, of Arbroath, p. 27. "*' Liber de Scon, pp. 112, 113. 


Ballathys, Invernate, and Mukirsy in the thanage of Kyn- 
clevin, with its tenandiies and services of the freeholders, the 
native-men, bondmen, and their bondages and followers.^'- 

The thanages of which we have thus given shortly the Thanages 
history were all situated north of the Firths of Forth and the Fortii. 
Clyde, and in those eastern districts which formed originally 
the seat of the Pictish tribes, and afterwards fell under the 
dominion of a dynasty of kings of Scottish race. The Scots 
were thus a dominant race over a subject population, and 
under the succeeding dynasty, who adopted Norman customs 
and assimilated the laws and institutions of the country to 
those of a feudal monarchy, these districts became the 
theatre of a Saxon colonisation and of a gradually increasing 
settlement of Norman barons, who held the land on a feudal 
tenure from the Crown ; and thus the more ancient tenures 
represented by the thanages were comparatively speaking 
few in number, and scattered in isolated situations. But 
while the thanages in general were thus situated, there was 
one thanage south of the Firth of Forth which appears to 
belong to the same class. It was situated on the south bank 
of the river Carron, and represented that small district, dis- 
tinguished in the Irish Annals by the name of Calathros, and 
in Latin documents and chronicles as Calatria, — a name 
preserved in the more modern Callender. The name of 
Ecdesbreac by which the church was known, and by which 
it is still called in the Highlands, indicates that it was in- 
habited by a Gaelic-speaking people, and the term Brcac is 
usually associated with those of Pictish race. They were 
probably the remains of the old Pictish population which 
gave their name to the Pentland Hills, Be this as it may, 
the notices of this thanage are in entire harmony with 
those of the thanages north of the Forth. A charter by 
King David the First to the canons of Stirling is witnessed 

*- Exchequer Bolls, vol. i. pp. 3, 17, 18; Reg. Mag. Sig., p. 166. 

278 tup: TIIANAOKS and TIIEIU extinction. [bookhi. 

by Dufotir, slieriff of Stirling ; and the same Dufotir wit- 
nesses a charter of King David to the church of Glasgow, as 
Dufoter de Calatria. About 1190 appears Dominus Alwynus 
de Kalenter.^^ A charter by Herbert, son of Herbert de 
Camera, of a half carucate of land in his territory of Dum- 
fries, consisting of four bovates or oxgangs near Louchbane, 
is witnessed by Malcolm, thane of Kalentyr, and Alexander 
the Second grants to the canons of Holyrood, in feu-farm, his 
whole lands of Kalentyr, which had been in his hands since 
the day on which he assigned to Malcolm, formerly thane 
of Kalentyr ; forty pound lands in Kalentyr, which lands are 
reserved to the said thane. Then we find the old thanage 
converted into crown demesne, and the thane bought off 
with a feudal holding. In the same reign a charter by 
Maldouen, earl of Lemiox, is witnessed by P., Thane of 
Kalentyr ; and a missing charter of King David the Second 
'to William Livingston of the lands of Callanter by for- 
feiture of Patrick Calentyre,' appears to terminate the line 
of the thanes, and to indicate the conversion of the lands 
into a barony in favour of the Livingston family,^ A 
charter granted by David the First before his succession to 
the throne, when the province of Lothian and the ancient 
Cumbrian kingdom were under his rule, and addressed to all 
his faithful Tegns and Drcngs of Lothian and Teviotdale,^ 
shows that any thanes who appear in these districts where 
the population was entirely Anglic, belong to the Saxon 
organisation, and have no connection with the more northern 
Toshach- ^6 have Seen that the term Thane, in connection with 

'roshafh- ^^^^ portion of the crown land north of the Firths of Forth 
and Clyde called a thanage, and considered as crown de- 

^^ Charttdary of Cambuslcameth, p. 108 ; Chart, of Holyrood, p. 51 ; 

pp. 250, 199 ; Chart, of Glasgow, Robertson's Index, 38 ; Chart, of 

p. 9. Glasgow, p. 120. 

^* Charttdary of Camlmskenneth, *' National MSS., vol. i. 



mesne, was the equivalent of the Gaelic Toisech or Toschach, 
but we also find this word Toschach used in Scotland in 
combination with two other words nearly resembling each 
other, and thus forming the two denominations of Toschachdor 
and Toschachdera, indicating in this form a person, and in the 
form of Toschachdor acht and Toschachdcracht, an office, just 
as the function of the Toisech is expressed in tlie Irish system 
by Toisecheacht. Sir John Skene, in his treatise De Verhorum 
Significationc, gives under the word Toscheoderachc, several 
interpretations of it. He says that it was ' ane office or juris- 
diction, not unlike to a bailliarie, especially in the lies and 
Hielandes.' ' Some alleagis it to be ane office pertaining to 
execution of summondis. Uthers understandis the same to 
be ane crowner. Last, summe understandis it to be ane 
searchour and taker of thieves and limmers.' But it is obvious 
from his references that he confounds the two offices together. 
The Toschachdoraclit was the office like a bailiary, and the 
Toschachdor was considered the equivalent of the coroner, 
and this office was mainly confined to the Highlands and 
Islands. The Toschachdera he rightly explains, in his Notes 
to the Old Laws, as a name given by the original Scots and 
Irish to the serjeand or servitor of court who put the letters 
of citation in force, and that this office was commonly called 
' ane Mair of Fee.'^^ We find the two offices existed distinct 
from each other in the Isle of Man, and this throws some 
light upon it. That island was divided into six sheadings, 
and each sheading had two officers. The first was the 
coroner, and this office, says Mr. Train, in his History of the 
Isle of Man, is of the highest antiquity in the island. He is 
called in Manks Toshiagh Jioarcy, or chief man of the law. 
There is likewise, says jNIr. Train, an officer of unknown 

*' Toscheoderach Barbarum no- inandat exeeutioni. Quod officium 

men, piiscis Scotis et Hybernis dioitur vulgo, ane Mair of Fee. — 

usitatum pro serjando vel servi- R<'g. Mnj., p. 13. 
cnte Curiiu, qui literas citationes 


antiquity in every parish called a Maor, vviio collects all 
escheats, deodands, waifs, and estrays.^" 

The Toischcaclidor derives his name from Toiscch, and 
Dior, an old word signifying ' of or belonging to law,' and 
is obviously the same as the Manks Tosldagh Jioarey, and 
this office is not to be found in those eastern districts where the 
thanages prevail, for the simple reason that it is there repre- 
sented by the Toschcch or Thane himself, but the Toiscachdcra 
or Mair of Fee occurs repeatedly in connection with them. 
Thus in the laws of King William the Lion, which gave the 
form of citation, it is directed to be made by the serjeand 
or coroner or Tosordereh or other summouer f^ and that the 
serjeand and Toshachdera are the same, will be evident on 
comparing a charter of the thanage of Belhelvie, which 
mentions the office of smith and the office of serjeand, with 
one of the demesne lands of Davochindore in Kildrummy, 
where the same offices are called Fahrisdera et Tos/iachdera.^^ 
We find in connection with the thanage of Moravia the office 
of Mair of Fee,^*' and in 1476 the lord of Strathawin, in 
Banffshire, grants to Alexander Crom Makalonen the lands 
of Invercahomore, with tlie office of Toslioderatns de Strath- 
mvin?^ We can trace the appearance of this office too in 
connection with the church lands in this part of Scotland. 
One of the earliest grants to the bishop of Aberdeen was the 
schyra or parish of Eayne. It contained the lands of Ledyn- 
toschach, or the Toschach's half, and Eothniaise, in which the 
word Eath appears. These lands were held under the bishop 
by a family of De Eane, and afterwards liy a family called 
Tulidef, but in 1544 the bishop feus to Mr. Walter Stewart 
the lands of Invirquhaland, Newmore, and two parts of 

^'^ Train's History of the Isk of '"' Relours, Elijin, 25. Officium 

Man, vol. ii. p. 209. marisfeodi terrarum comitatus de 

*» Acts of Parliament, vol. i. p. 58. Murray, viz., Thanagie de Murray. 

8« Ant. Ab. and Banff, vol. iv. »! Ant. of Ab. and Banff, xo\. iv. 

p. 453. p. 476. 


liothtniaise cum ly Dtrachthouns.^'^ The lands of Tarves, 
within the thanage of Fermartiu, were conferred upon the 
abbey of Arbroath by Alexander the Second, and in 1384 
the abbot of Arbroath confers the oftice of Derethy of Tenvas 
upon Thomas de Lochane and the heirs of his body in per- 
petuity.^^ In the thanage of Fettercairn we find, besides 
the thaneston, or mensal land of the thane, another portion 
termed Dcray lands, or the possession of tlie Toschachdera.^* 
These notices will be sufficient to show the existence of this 
office in connection with the thanages, to which a portion of 
the land was assigned as official demesne. 

We have now completed our survey of the thanages Result of 
which survived the war of independence, and we thus see thanages. 
that there existed in the eastern Lowlands isolated terri- 
tories, scattered here and there among the feudal holdings, 
still bearing the name of Thanagium, and preserving many 
of the characteristics of the older Celtic tribe. These 
thanages during the period of the rule of the kings of the 
race of David the First were considered as forming part of 
the crown demesne, and were held of the kings by persons 
called Thanes in feu-farm for payment of an annual Jlrma, 
rent or feu-duty, but their connection with the ancient tribe 
lands is indicated by the fact that tlie feuar bearing the 
Saxon name of Thane was likewise known by the Celtic 
name of Toschach, and therefore represented the ancient 
Toiscch of the Tnath or tribe, and that his annual feu- duty 
was likewise known by the Celtic name of Cain, usually 
amounting to about twelve merks, while the land w\as subject 
to another burden termed Conveth, and afterwards Waytinga, 
which was no other than the Coinmhcdha or Coigny of the 
Irish tribes. These thanages had therefore obviously replaced 

"- Chartulary of Aberdeen, pp. 4, "^ Keg. Higrum de Aberbrothoc, 

6, 88, 428. Ant. of Ab. and Banff, p. 128. 
vol. iii. p. 428. «i Betoun, for Kincardine, No. 19. 


the more ancient Tuath, and what was now regarded as crown 
land was the ancient tribe territory. It varied in size, as did 
the Irish Tuath. Its principal measure of land bore the 
C^eltic name of Davach, a name also retained when the land 
liad passed into feudal holdings. Each davach contained 
four ploughgates, equivalent to the Irish Bally and the 
Welsh Tixf, and the fourth part of the ploughgate seems 
to have formed the smallest holding, and been known by the 
Celtic term of Bath. The size of these thanages or tribe 
territories held of the Crown varied from twelve to six 
davachs, and those held of the earls seem in general not to 
have exceeded three. Part of this territory was held by the 
thane or Toschach in demesne, and was known as the Thanes- 
town or thane's lands, and was cultivated by bondmen or 
pr?edial serfs, of whom there were two kinds, the hondus, or 
occupier of a servile tenement, amounting usually to the 
fourth part of a ploughgate or township, and the native-man, 
who was servile by race. Another part of the thanage con- 
sisted of tenandries, or free tenements, held under the thane 
by a class of sub-vassals called lihcre tenentcs, or freeholders, 
for payment of a Caiii or feu-duty, and these were likewise 
known by the Celtic nauie of Odhigern, the equivalent of 
the Irish Oclach. They were in fact the lower of the two 
divisions of the Flaith or nobles of the Irish tribe, consisting 
of the Aire arc! and the Aire dcsa, while from the upper 
division the Bi Tuath or Toiscch, as the case might be, was 
chosen, and when we find the territorial name of Dyce con- 
nected with some of the thanages, as Fordyce in the thanage 
of the Eoyne, Dyce in that of Kintore, Tannadyce in the 
thanage of the same name, we can hardly avoid recognising 
the Deis, or private property, which constituted the basis of 
the Grad Flath, or territorial nobles of the tribe. 

Between the class of freeholders and the servile class 
part of the land was occupied by the liber i fir mar ii, or free 


farmers, who had a mere usufruct of their possessions, which 
varied in size from the tenandry to the small holding of two 
oxgaugs, or the fourth part of a ploughgate. These farmers 
usually held upon the system termed the Steelbow, when 
the stock and implements belonged to the proprietor, and 
were handed over to the tenant during his occupation of the 
land, who was bound to return an equal value at tlie 
termination of his tenure, his rent being usually paid in 
kind. This tenure closely resembled that of the Saer, or 
Ceile, of the Irish tribe, while the Dacr, or bond Ceile, were 
represented by the Boiuli, or occupiers of a servile holding 
in the thanage. 

Another portion of the thanage was the church land. 
When the church consisted merely of the Cill, or parish 
church, it was known as the Terra ccclesicc, kirkton or Pet- 
tintaggart, and Avas cultivated by the Scolocs, who paid Cain 
to the thane, and Conveth to the bishop in whose diocese it 
was. It generally varied in size from a half davach to a 
half ploughgate, but when a Columban monastery had been 
founded in the thanage, it was of larger extent and fell into 
lay hands under the name of ahhatie, or ahthanric, paying, 
liowever, both Cain and Conveth to the church. This was 
in fact the termon lands of the Irish tribe. Lastly, what 
had originally been the waste land of the tribe became 
known as the forest, and became dissociated from the culti- 
vated land of the thanage. It either formed the subject of 
a separate grant or was retained as a royal forest. 




Clanship TiioSE influences which led to the Tuath with its Toisech 
Highhands. passing over into the Thanage and the Thane in the eastern 
districts were less felt in the more mountainous regions of 
the north and west, where the power of the Crown was 
comparatively weak, and more nominal than real, and here 
the tribe went through a different process. While the large 
districts continued to be ruled by their Mormaers and the 
Mortuath, and the Province existed intact, there was little 
of external influence to affect the social organisation of their 
Celtic population ; but the same internal modification which 
led to the development of the sept or clan from the tribe 
was no doubt silently at work, and when the break-up of 
the great provinces and the alienation of the lands of the 
tribe to feudal lords removed the veil, the clan appears 
exhibiting in the main the characteristics of the Irish sept. 
The clan organisation was in the main limited to that part 
of modern Scotland known as the Highlands and Islands, 
where the mountainous and rugged character of the former 
and the comparative inaccessibility of the latter led to the 
preservation of a population of pure Gaelic lineage, speaking 
a Gaelic dialect. Here the introduction, by marriage or 
royal grant, of feudal overlords with apparently feudal hold- 
ings was purely nominal. It led to nothing like the Teu- 
tonic colonisation which characterised the Lowlands, and 
neither affected the Gaelic population nor the institution of 
clanship among them. 


The boundary line which separated the Highlands from The High 
the Lowlands, and known as the Highland Line, was in the 
main an imaginary line separating the Gaelic - speaking 
people from those using the Teutonic dialect, but it likewise 
coincides in part with the natural boundaries formed by 
those physical features of the country which have influenced 
the relative position of the Gaelic and Teutonic-speaking 
portion of the population respectively. The southern part 
of this boundary coincides with the great barrier formed by 
the mountain range of the Grampians, and where this range 
is intersected by rivers which take their rise in the interior 
of the highland region, and flow througli this range to the 
eastern sea, in deep ravines or narrow glens, with high 
mountains on each side, were narrow passes which formed 
the entrances into the Highlands, and were easily defended, 
rendering the country almost inaccessible, while similar 
passes characterise the northern portion of the line where it 
crosses the great rivers. 

The Highland Line may be said at its southern end to 
commence at Loch Lomond, in the earldom of Lennox, where 
the Pass of Balmaha between the lake and the commence- 
ment of the mountain region leads into the district of which 
this lake is the centre. The line then enters the earldom of 
Menteith, and crosses the Forth, here called the Avon dubh, 
at Aberfoil, and proceeds from thence to Callander, where 
the pass on the north side of Loch Vennachar leads into the 
district formerly called Strathgartney, and the Pass of Leny 
forms the entrance to Strathire and to the district of Bal- 
quhidder. From Callander the line follows the range of the 
Grampians, through the earldom of Stratherne, and crosses 
the river Earn at Crieff, and the Almond at Findoch, where 
passes lead to the upper part of the Vale of the Earn and to 
Glenalmond respectively. From thence it follows the line of 
the Grampians to Dunkeld, where the King's Pass forms the 

286 THK FINK Oli CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book in. 

entrance to Strathtay, and through the district of Stormont 
in Gowry to Blairgowrie, where the passes lead into the dis- 
trict of Strathardell. From thence it follow.s the line of the 
Grampians till it crosses the Isla north-west of Alyth, and 
enters the earldom of Angus, where the minor range of hills 
forming the east side of Glenisla coincides with the line till 
it reaches the great chain of the Mounth, or backbone of the 
Grampians, at Cairn Bannoch. There it enters the earldom 
of Mar, and proceeds along the west side of Glenmuich to 
the Dee at Ballater, where the Pass of Ballater leads into 
the districts of Strathdee and the Forest of Braemar. North 
of these districts it includes likewise the district of Strath- 
don, crossing the river Don at Boat of Forbes, whence it 
proceeds to the river Spey at Craigellachie, including the 
district of Strathavon, and here a pass leads into the district 
of Strathspey, and separating the mountain region of the 
earldom of Moray from the level plains forming the southern 
seaboard of the Moray Firth, it terminates at the mouth of 
the river Nairn, which flows through the town of Nairn, and 
formerly separated the Gaelic-speaking people on its left 
bank from the lowland population on the right. The High- 
land Line thus intersects the old earldoms of Lennox, Men- 
teith, Stratherne, Gowry, Angus, Mar, Buchan, and Moray, 
which represented the older great Celtic tribes or Mortuath, 
governed by their Bi Mortuath or Mormaers, and the portion 
of each earldom included in the Highland Line consisted of 
that part which retained its Gaelic population intact, while 
the rest of it became more or less colonised by foreign 
Break-ui) The earldoms of Atholl, Eoss, and Sutherland were 

Celtic entirely comprehended within the Highland Line, as well 
earldoms. ^^ ^^^ ^^.^^^ district of Arvcgaithcl, or Argyll, in its most 
extended sense, reaching from the Clyde to Lochbroom, and 
a similar line drawn from the Ord of Caithness to Brinsness 


on the west side of Thurso Bay separated the Gaelic popula- 
tion in the more mountainous part of the ancient province 
of Cathanesia, which from an early period had passed into 
the possession of the Norwegian earls of Orkney, from the 
Teutonic settlers in the eastern and more level plains. As 
long as the native race of the Mormacrs remained, though 
assuming the new character of earls, the connection between 
them and the Gaelic population of the earldom remained 
unimpaired ; but when, by marriage or otherwise, the earl- 
dom passed into foreign hands, the Gaelic population be- 
came the subjects of a foreign overlord, the greater tribe 
became broken up, and they emerged from it in the form of 
clans or broken tribes. 

The first of these great Celtic tribes to break up was that Moray, 
which formed the great earldom, or rather petty kingdom, of 
Moray. Here we find a family making their appearance in 
the eleventh century in the Irish Annals as Mormaers of 
Moray, and occasionally bearing the title of Ri or king. 
This line of Celtic kings or Mormaers terminated with Maels- 
nechtan, son of that Lulach mac Gillcomgan who succeeded 
Macbeth as king of Scotland for three months. He appears 
as Ri or king of Moray in 1086, and after him Angus, the 
grandson of Lulach by his daughter, bears the title of earl of 
Moray, and by his defeat and death in the beginning of the 
reign of David the First the line of the ancient kings or Mor- 
maers of Moray comes to an end, but the tribe appears 
to have been still held so far together by their support of the 
claims of the family of MacHeth to the earldom of Moray, 
whose founder Wymund asserted himself to be the son of 
Angus, and of that of MacWilliam who claimed to be the 
nearer line of the royal family to the throne of Scotland; and 
it was not till the year 1222 that the pretensions of these two 
families were finally extinguished by Alexander the Second. 

About the same period the line of the Celtic Mormaers or Buchan. 

288 TIIK KINK oil CLANMN SCOTLAND. [book id. 

earls of Buchaii liacl come to an eiul. The Book of Deer fur- 
nishes us with a tolerably complete list of these Mormaers, 
from Bede the Pict in the sixth century to Colban, earl of 
Buchan, in the reign of David the First ; and we can see from 
the history of the last four that they followed in the main 
the Pictish law of succession, which preferred daughters to 
sons after brothers. Donald, son of liuadri, appears as Mor- 
macr of Buchan in the reign of Malcolm the Second. He is 
followed by Donald, son of MacDubhacain, who is succeeded 
by his brother Cainneach. The next Mormacr mentioned was 
his son Gartnait, but he appears to have derived his right 
through his wife Ete, daughter of rrillamithil. He appears 
with the title of earl in the reign of Alexander the First, and 
his daughter Eva carries the earldom to her husband Colban. 
He is followed by his son Eoger, and he by his son Fergus, 
whose only daughter Margaret carried the earldom to William 
Cumyn, who became in his right earl of Buchan, and by 
Alexander the Second was made guardian of the earldom of 
Moray in 1222. Six years after, the districts of Badenoch 
and Lochaber were conferred upon his son Walter Cumyn, 
on the rebellion, defeat, and death of a certain Gillespie, by 
whom they had apparently been forfeited. 
AthoU. The same reign of Alexander the Second witnessed the 

termination of the line of the Celtic earls of Atholl and 
Angus, The former earldom appears to have been an appan- 
age of the family from whom sprang the kings of the race of 
Duncan, the son of Crinan, and its earls were descended from 
his younger son, a younger brother of Malcolm Ceannmor.'' 
The last of this line was Henry, earl of Atholl, who died 
before 1215, and the earldom passed to the eldest of two 
sisters, Isabella and Forflissa, who married Thomas, earl of 

' The peerage-writers make Ma- Cumyns, through female descent 

dach, earl of Atholl, son of Donald from him, to the throne. The Ork- 

Bane, which, as we have stated, neyinga Saga names him Melcolni 

is disproved by the claim of the or Melmare. 


Galloway. On the death of his son Patrick in 1242 he was 
succeeded by his aunt Forflissa, the other sister, who married 
David de Hastings, and by his daughter it was carried to the 
Strathbolgie family, a branch of the earls of Fife.- But while 
the earldom passed into the hands of a succession of foreign 
earls, a family bearing the title of De Atholia continued to 
possess a great part of the earldom, and were probably the 
descendants of the older Celtic earls. The Gaelic population 
of the whole of the north-western portion of Atholl, bounded 
on the east by the river Garry, and on the south by the 
Tummel, remained intact under them, but the possession of 
the great western territory of the abthanric of Dull by the 
Crown led to the introduction of a foreign element among 
the landholders of the rest of the earldom, and much of the 
land passed permanently into the possession of the families 
of Menzies and Stewart, while the Celtic character of the 
whole earldom was notwithstanding preserved. 

The same reign saw also the extinction of the old Celtic Angi 
earls of Angus. The Pictish Chronicle furnishes us with the 
names of three of its Mormaers — Dubucan, son of Indrech- 
taig, who died about 935, and Maelbrigdi, son of Dubucan, 
and this name again occurs in the ' Dufugan Comes ' who 
appears among the seven earls in the reign of Alexander the 

- The line of these earls is very in- Atholl, confirm the donation of the 
correctly given by the peerage-writ- lands of Invervach made to the 
ers. They give the two sisters an monks of Cupar by David de Has- 
elder anonymous sister, whom they tings, earl of Atholl, father of Ada, 
marry to Alan Durwai'd, who is men- in 1283 in place of 1254, which is the 
t\oiiG(iinthQChartulary of Arbroath date given by Sir James Balfour, 
(p. 76) as earl of Atholl in 1235 ; but by whom alone a note of this char- 
as Thomas of Galloway died in 1231, ter has been preserved, they con- 
leaving Isabella a widow, and her found David de Strathbolgie, earl 
son succeeded in 1242, it is obvious of Atholl, who died in a pilgrimage 
that Alan held the earldom either as to the Holy Land in 1269, with his 
husband of the widow or guardian of grandfather, David de Hastings, earl 
the son. Then by misdating a char- of Atholl, and his son John, earl of 
ter by which John de Strathbolgie, Atholl, with his grandfather, John 
earl of Atholl, and Ada, countess of earl of Atholl, the husband of Ada. 


'290 THK FINl5 OK CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book iii. 

First, aud was no douLt earl of Angus. After him we have 
a succession of four earls from father to son, viz., Gillebiide, 
Gilchrist, Duncan, and Malcolm ; and Matilda, the daugliter 
and heiress of the last earl, carried the earldom by marriage 
first to John Comyn, who died in 1242, and then to the Nor- 
man family of De Umphraviile. The family of Ogilvie, who 
retained possession of a considerable portion of the earldom, 
appear to have been the male descendants of these old Celtic 
earls, and they likewise gave a line of earls to Caithness, 
who possessed, with the title of earl, one half of the land of 
the earldom. Of the land of the earldom of Angus the dis- 
trict of Glenisla was alone included within the Highland 
Line and preserved its Gaelic population. 
Menteith The beginning of the reign of Alexander the Third saw 

eine. the termination too of the line of the old Celtic earls of 

Menteith. No mention of the Mormaers of this Mortuath 
lias been preserved, and the first earl, Gilchrist, appears in the 
reign of Malcolm the Fourth. He was succeeded by Mure- 
thac, who was followed by two brothers, both bearing the 
name of Maurice, between whom there was a contention for 
the earldom in 1213, which ended in the elder Maurice re- 
signing the earldom to his brother and retaining some of 
the lands for his life f but Earl Maurice left two daughters 
only, the eldest of whom married Walter Cumyn, and the • 
younger Walter Stewart, and carried the earldom to these ! 
families. The western and more mountainous part of this earl- I: 
dom, consisting mainly of the districts of Strathgartney aud )• 
Strathire, retained its Gaelic population. Of the early Mor- \\ 
maers of the Mortuath of Stratherne we have no mention, but ! i 
the line of its Celtic earls continued unbroken till the reign i j 
of David the Second, when the forfeiture of one interposed I i 

for a time a Norman baron, and the succession terminated in j i 


* See Riddell's Remarks on Scotch Peerage Laic, p. 149, for an account j i 
of this dispute. j 


co-lieiresses, when the earldom came into the Crown, and was 
re-granted to one of the Eoyal Stewarts ; the western districts 
within the Highland IJne retained their Gaelic inhabitants. 

The only other of the frontier earldoms intersected by the Uav. 
Highland Line was that of Mar, and here, like Buchan, we 
are on historic ground, for a Mormaer of Mar — Donald mac 
Emin mac Cainech — is recorded in a nearly contemporary 
document as having been present at the battle of Clontarff 
in Ireland, fought in the year 1014 ;* and Euadri, Mormaer 
of Mar, who is mentioned in the Book of Deer, appears 
among the seven earls in the reign of Alexander the First 
as ' Eothri Comes.' The line of the Celtic earls of Mar 
continued till the reign of liobert the Second, when it was 
carried by an heiress into the Douglas iamily, and after- 
wards to one of the Stewarts, by whom it was resigned to 
the Crown. A great part of the territory of the Celtic earls 
was at an early period carried off from them by the family 
of De Lundin or Durward, who claimed the earldom as 
representing the earls through a female, and were thus com- 
pensated, but this part consisted of Lowland districts, and 
the Highland districts of Strathdee, Braemar, and Strathdon 
constituted the ' comitatus ' or demesne of the Celtic earls, 
and preserved their Gaelic population. 

The history of the Mortuatli or earldom of Eoss is pecu- Ross. 
liar, and became eventually connected with that of the Lords 
of the Isles. Of the early Celtic Mormacrs we have no 
record, and the supposed connection of Macbeth with Eoss 
as its Mormaer, which originated with George Chalmers, has 
no historic foundation. He was, as we have seen, Mormaer 
of Moray. The name of Gillandres appears in Wyntoun as 
one of the earls who besieged Malcolm the Fourth in Perth 
in the year 1160 ; and the Gaelic name of the old Eosses as 
Clanghillandrcs seems to connect him with this earldom, but 

■* The War of the Gaedhil loith the Gaill, pp. 171, 21]. 

292 THE FIN^ OR CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book in. 

it must have been iinm'ediately after in the Crown, for the 
same Malcohn undoubtedly gave it to Malcohn MacHeth, 
who appears as its earl, but was soon after expelled. It was 
afterwards bestowed by William the Lion upon a foreigner, 
the Count of Holland ; but his successor, Alexander the 
Second, created Ferchard Macintaggart, the heir of a line of 
lay abbots of Applecross, earl of Koss, who thus united the 
extensive possessions of that monastery in North Argyll to 
the earldom, and from him the later earls are descended. It 
became for a time broken up, when an heiress carried the 
earldom to Walter de Lesly, and afterwards to Alexander 
Stewart, earl of Buchan, but it reverted through her daughter 
and heiress to the line of tlie Celtic Lords of the Isles. 

But while the eastern and central tribes became broken 
up by the termination of the line of the Celtic earls of the 
respective great districts or Mortuaths, and thus either revert- 
ing to the Crown or passing by marriage to Norman barons, 
those of the western seaboard and of the Isles were held 
together for a longer period, and remained intact till to- 
wards the end of the fifteenth century. These Gaelic in- 
habitants of the Western Isles had been, as early as the ninth 
century, brought under the rule of the Danes and Norwegians, 
and the latter had in the eleventh century extended their 
sway over the western districts of the highlands and over 
Galloway. These Gael were termed Gallgaidhcal, the word 
Gall or foreigner being applied to both Danes and Norwegians, 
both from being under their rule and from their having been 
in some degree assimilated to their manners and become 
connected with them by intermarriage ; but the word Gall- 
f/aidheal as a geographical term became limited to the district 
of Galloway, which derived its name from them. The Islands 
became known as Innsigall, or the islands of the strangers, and 
western districts of the Highlands as Airer or Oirir Gaidheal, 
the coast land of the Gael, from whence the name of Argyll 


is derived. Two Celtic chiefs, as we have seen, succeeded 
at the same time in driving the Norwegians out from the 
mainland of Scotland, and Somerled, establishing himself as 
king over the whole of the extensive district known by the 
name of Ergadia or Oirirgaidhcal, extending from the Clyde 
to Lochbroom, and had likewise wrested from the Norwesrian 
kings of the Isles the southern half of tliem lying to the south 
of the promontory of Ardnamurchan, over which his de- 
scendants ruled with almost regal sway, while Fergus founded 
u line of Celtic lords of Galloway. Somerled left three sons 
— Dubhgal or Dugald, Eeginald, and Angus, among whom 
his dominions were divided. Dubhgal received the district 
of Lorn, extending from Lochleven to the Point of Ashnish, 
and also that of Morveru ; Eeginald obtained the districts of 
Kintyre and Cowall, and the islands which Somerled had pos- 
sessed were divided between them, Dubhgal having Mull and 
the small islands adjacent to it, and Eeginald the important 
island of Isla, with those in the Firth of Clyde. Angus's 
possessions appear to have lain north of the others, but a 
struggle seems to have taken place between him and Eeginald, 
which resulted in Angus being slain with his three sons in 
1210 by the sons of Eeginald. Soon after, the conquest of 
the great district of Argyll by Alexander the Second took 
place, and the descendants of Somerled appear to have been 
among the lords who were confirmed in their possessions by 
that monarch, but their possessions in the Isles were still held 
of the Norwegians till the cession of the Isles in the reign of 
Alexander the Third. Eeginald had left two sons, Donald 
and Euaidri or Eoderick, the former succeeding his father in 
Kintyre and Isla, and the latter obtaining Bute and Arran, 
and likewise the possessions which had been wrested from 
Angus, and consisted mainly of the district extending from 
Ardnamurchan to Glenelg, and known by the name of Gar- 
moran ; while the district of Lochaber, which had been for- 

294 tup: fink ok clan in Scotland. [book m. 

feited, passed into the possession of the Cuinyus. The 
descendants of Dugald and Keginald thus shared the posses- 
sions of Sonierled between them, and we find the heads of the 
respective families — Alexander, son of Eogan, son of Duncan, 
son of Dubhgal, Angus Mor son of Donald, and Allan son of 
Eoderic — appearing at tlie Scottish parliament in 1284, when 
the crown was settled on the Maiden of Norway ; but the 
families having taken opposite sides in the war of succession — 
the head of the line of Dubhgal, John of Lorn, supporting the 
cause of Baliol, and the head of the line of Kegiuald that of 
Bruce — the latter became the predominant family. Angus Og, 
son of Angus Mor, the head of the family who had supported 
Bruce, received from him when established on the throne the 
lands of Morvern, Ardnanmrchan, and Lochaber, with the 
islands which had belonged to the Lords of Lorn. These lands 
and islands, with Kintyre and Isla, were confirmed to his son 
John by David the Second, who likewise confirmed to Kegi- 
nald son of Eoderic, the lands of Garmoran, with the small 
islands north of Ardnaniurchon and the southern half of the 
Long Island; but Reginald having been slain in a quarrel with 
the earl of Eoss at Perth in 1346, his possessions passed with 
his sister Amie by marriage to John the son of Angus,^ and 
thus this latter family became known as the powerful Lords 
of the Isles, ruling over the territories of the Macdonalds of 
Isla and Kintyre, the MacEuaries of Garmoran and the North 
Isles, and a great part of those which had belonged to the 
Lords of Lorn. Their position was still further strengthened 
by the marriage of John, Lord of the Isles, with the daughter 
of Eobert, High Steward of Scotland, for which connection he 
had apparently repudiated his first wife Amie ; and when the 
line of the Lords of Lorn of the race of Dubhgal came to an 
end, and the lordship of Lorn passed to the Stewarts of Inner- 

5 ' Benedict xii. Uispcn. Joanni quondam Engussii de Isle Sodoren. 
et Amiif quondam Roderici de Tnsulis . . . 1.S37.' 

CHAP, viil] the FINF: oil CLAN IN SCOTLAND. 295 

meath by marriage with the daughter and heiress of John, 
Lord of Lorn, before 1388, the Lords of the Isles were left with- 
out a rival in their rule of the Gaelic population of Argyll 
and the Isles. John, Lord of the Isles, had by his first mar- 
riage with Amie MacRuarie, three sons, John, Godfrey, and 
Eanald ; and by his second marriage with the Lady Margaret 
Stewart likewise three sons, Donald, John, and Alexander ; 
and when Eobert the High Steward succeeded to the throne 
in 1370, his influence led to an arrangement by which the 
children of the Lord of the Isles by his second marriage, who 
were the king's grandsons, were to be preferred to the children 
of the first marriage in the succession to the Isles, while the 
possessions of the Maclluarie family, which he had inherited 
through his first wife, were to be secured to the first family 
as the price of their acquiescence. Accordingly, in the first 
year of his reign. King Robert confirms to John, Lord of the 
Isles, the territory on the mainland and the Isles which had 
belonged to Alan, son of Roderic, and in the following year 
confirms a grant by the Lord of the Isles of these possessions 
to his son Reginald, the youngest of the three brothers, who 
appears to have agreed to the arrangement, the eldest son, 
Jolm, having predeceased his father, and the second, Godfrey, 
having apparently refused to surrender his rights ; and a few 
years later charters are granted to the Lord of the Isles and 
to the heirs of his marriage with Margaret, the king's daughtei', 
of the island of Colonsay with its pertinents, and the lands 
of Lochaber, Kintyre, and one half of Knapdale. On the 
death of the Lord of the Isles in 1380, Reginald fulfilled his 
engagement by causing Donald to be recognised as Lord of 
the Isles, and having him inaugurated by the usual Celtic 
solemnities as such ; while Godfrey appears to have for a 
time maintained his right to his mother's inheritance, which, 
however, was soon extinguished by the failure of heirs-male. 
Donald thus appears to have entered peaceably into pos- 

290 THK FINK Oil CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book hi. 

session of the lordsliip of the Isles, and his marriage with 
Margaret, daughter of Walter Lesly, earl of Eoss, added a 
claim to that earldom on the death of her brother Alexandei', 
earl of Iloss, who left an only daughter who became a nun. 
This claim being contested by the Ecgent Duke of Albany, 
who had obtained a renunciation from the nun, led to the 
great battle of Harlaw, where the whole force of the Western 
Highlands and Isles, as well as those of the earldom, was 
pitted against the Government; and though the i.ssue of the 
battle was doubtful, the Lord of the Isles maintained his pos- 
session of the earldom, and his title as Earl of Eoss was even- 
tually admitted, and he was succeeded in 1420 by his son 
Alexander, as Earl of Eoss and Lord of the Isles. The posi- 
tion of the Lords of the Isles, as virtually independent rulers 
of nearly the whole of the Highlands with the Isles, was now 
so powerful, that their authority and that of the Crown came 
into constant collision, and it is necessary, for our purpose, 
that the leading incidents should be shortly stated. On the 
accession of James the First in 1424, he appears to have 
strengthened his party against the family of the Eegent 
Albany by confirming the widow of the Lord of the Isles, and 
her son Alexander, in the earldom of Eoss; and the latter, as 
Lord of the Isles and Master of the earldom of Eoss, sat upon 
the jury which condemned Murdoch, Duke of Albany, and 
his father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox, to death; but after his 
object was attained, this vigorous monarch seemed to feel the 
necessity of bringing the Highlands more under his control. 
The mode by which he endeavoured to accomplish this was 
characteristic. He summoned, in 1427, a Parliament to meet 
at Inverness, at which the Highland chiefs were invited to 
attend, and as soon as they obeyed his summons, arrested them 
to the number of fifty and committed them to prison. The 
chroniclers enumerate among them — Alexander, Lord of the 
Isles, and his mother the Countess of Eoss ; Angus Duff with 


his four sons, leader of four thousand men of Strathnaver ; 
Kenneth More with his son-in-law, leader of two thousand 
men ; John Eoss, William Lesly, Angus of Moray, and Mack- 
mahon, leaders of two thousand men each ; and he put to 
death Alexander Makreury of Garmoran, leader of a thousand 
men, and John Makarthur, a great chief among them, and 
likewise leader of a thousand men, who were beheaded. The 
rest were sent to various prisons, where, after a time, some 
were put to death and others liberated.^ Among those who 
were liberated were the Lord of the Isles and his mother, and 
he seems to have lost no time in endeavouring to revense 
himself, for in 1429 he summoned all his vassals in Ross and 
the Isles, and advanced against the town of Inverness, which 
he burnt to the ground after he had wasted the crown lands; 
but on the appearance of the royal army, with King James 
at its head, he retreated to Lochaber, where the king followed 
him, and the Lord of the Isles having been deserted by part 
of his troops, he was attacked and defeated, and eventually 
surrendered himself unconditionally to the king, when he was 
imprisoned in Tantallon Castle, and his mother was also ar- 
rested and confined at Inchcolm, in the Firth of Forth. Along 
with the earl of Ross, we find in prison Lachlane M'Gillane, 
Torkill M'Nell, Tarlan MacArchir, and Duncan Persoun.^ 

The imprisonment of the earl of Ross and his mother led 
to an insurrection in the west, when the Highlanders under 
Donald Balloch, a cousin of the earl, defeated the royal troops, 
under the earls of Mar and Caithness, at Inverlochy in Locha- 
ber in 1431, when the former was killed ; but on the appear- 
ance of the king himself with additional forces, Donald Balloch 

" Scotichronicon , voL ii. p. 489. tensas super computum sub periculo 

'' Et domino ConiitiRossicB.Lach- computancium. Et eidem comiti pro 

lano M'Gillane, Torkell M'Nell, panno laneo, pro capucio tunica ca- 

Tarlano M'Archir et Duncano Per- ligis et pellibus rubeis pro juppone 

soun de mandate domini regis ut liiij lb iiij s. 14th July 1438. — Ex- 

patet per literas suas subsigneto os- rhequfr Rolls, vol. v. p. 33. 

298 TIIK riNK Oi; clan in SCOTLANI'. [book III. 

tied to Ireland, and the other chiefs made their submission. 
In consequence of this insurrection, the king appears to have 
seen the policy of setting the earl of lioss at liberty and at- 
taching him to his service by conferring upon him the impor- 
tant office of Justiciar of Scotland north of the Forth, an office 
which he held during the minority of James the Second. He 
appears, however, to have entered into a league with the earls 
of Douglas and Crawford, in 1455, for the dethronement of 
that monarch, but died in 1449 before any overt attempt had 
been made to carry it into effect. Alexander, earl of Boss, 
like his grandfather, seems to have formed one potent alliance 
with the Lowdand nobility by his marriage with Elizabeth 
Seton, daughter of Alexander, Lord of Gordon and Huntly, 
while he had — either before or after — added to his possessions 
by marriage with daughters of Highland chiefs. By his coun- 
tess Elizabeth he had John, who succeeded him as Earl of 
Eoss and Lord of the Isles. By the daughter of Giollapad- 
raig, the last of the lay abbots of Applecross, and known to 
tradition as the Eed Priest, with whom he obtained the lands 
of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and others, he had a son Hugh, to 
whom he gave the lands of Sleat in Skye ; and by a daughter 
of Mac Bubhshithe or Macphee, of Lochaber, he had Celestine 
or Gilleaspic, to whom he gave the lands of Lochalsh. During 
the reign of James the Second, John, earl of Boss, was occa- 
sionally at variance with the Crown, and at other times on 
good terms with the king, and under his influence was mar- 
ried to the daughter of Sir James Livingston ; but soon after 
that king's death, he entered into a league with the earl of 
Douglas and King Edward the Fourth of England for the 
conquest and partition of Scotland, in 1462, and immedi- 
ately raised the standard of revolt. Having assembled a large 
force, he made himself master of the castle of Inverness, and 
proclaimed himself supreme over the sheriffdoms of Inver- 
ness and Nairn, which then embraced the whole of the north 


of Scotland over which he placed his natural son Angus as 
lieutenant. In consequence of this act, and of the treatv 
with England coming to light, he was summoned at his 
castle of Dingwall to appear before a Parliament in Edin- 
burgh to answer to various charges of treason, and failing to 
attend, sentence of forfeiture was pronounced against him in 
1475. In order to carry this sentence into effect, an expedi- 
tion consisting both of a fleet and land force was sent against 
him under the command of the earls of Crawford and Atholl, 
and this led to his suing for pardon through the medium of 
the earl of Huntly, and he eventually surrendered himself 
to the royal mercy. He was restored to his forfeited estates, 
which he immediately resigned to the Crown. The earldom 
of Eoss was annexed to the Crown, and the rest of his estates, 
with the exception of Kintyre and Knapdale, were regranted 
to him by royal charter, and he was created a baron banrent 
and peer of Parliament by the title of Lord of the Isles, with 
remainder to his two natural sons, Angus and John. The 
old Celtic lordship of the Isles was thus converted into a 
feudal barony in 147G. 

Angus was soon after married to a daugliter of the earl 
of Argyll, by whom he had a son Donald Dubh, but was 
treacherously slain in 1490 at Inverness by an Irish harper. 
The repeated attempts which had been made to recover the 
earldom of Eoss, and other acts committed in name of the 
aged Lord of the Isles, led to his being again forfeited and 
deprived of his titles and estates in a Parliament held at 
Edinburgh in May 1493, on which he retired to the monas- 
tery of Paisley, and died there in 1498, and was interred in 
the tomb of his royal ancestor King Eobert the Second. 
Although several attempts were made after his death by the 
western chiefs to raise up his grandson Donald Dubh and 
his nephew Donald Gallda, the sou of Celestine, as Lords of 
the Isles, this was the final termination of the dynasty of 


the Celtic J^ords of the Isles, which practically ceased to 
exist ill 1476 at his first forfeiture, and the Gaelic popula- 
tion, which had been kept together by the power and 
authority of their great chiefs, became now broken up.*^ 
Lennox. The line of the Celtic earls of Lennox had come to an 

end during the life of Alexander, earl of Ross, when Duncan, 
t^arl of Lennox, was executed in 1425, and the earldom 
passed into the hands of the Stewarts. 
The The tifteenth century thus saw the last of the great Celtic 

doracht. tribcs broken up ; but while this process of disintegration from 
external influence had thus overtaken tlie greater tribes or 
MortuoAh one after another, their extinction as leading features 
in the Celtic tribal organisation did not disclose the lesser 
tribes or Tuaths in their entirety. They, too, had been under- 
going a process of internal change similar to that which had 
affected the Irish tribes and led to the development of the 
septs or clans, gradually severed more and more from the 
parent tribe, till the bond of union between them became 
impaired, and all tradition of their earlier existence as mem- 
bers of a larger organisation became lost. But while the 
original tribe had ceased thus to exist in that part of the 
country which retained its Gaelic population, as an actual 
element in its social organisation, it left an evidence of its 
previous existence in the lesser districts into which the larger 
territories were divided, and which still remained as a geogra- 
phical feature ; where an officer bearing the name and some 
of the functions of the ancient Toisech of the Tuath is still 
found in connection with some of them. This was the Tosh- 
achdoracht or office of Toschachdoir, which was considered 
equivalent to Coroner. It was rendered in Latin by capitalis 
hgis, and signified in English, principal of law. Thus, 

^ lu the Appendix will be found the Isles ; and Mr. Gregory's His- 

a translation of part of the Red tory of the West Highlands and 

Book of Clanranald, containing the Isles of Scotland may be referred to 

traditionary history of the Lords of for the above sketches. 


ill that part of the great district of Argyll which formed 
the original kingdom of Dalriada, we find the districts of 
Cowall, Kintyre in its largest sense, and Lorn, obviously 
representing the ancient Tuaths into which the population of 
the kingdom had been divided, and we likewise find Archi- 
bald, Master of Argyll, granting in 1550 to Campbell of 
Ardkinlas the office of Coroner, alias Thoshisdoir, viz., 
Toshcochdorachtie of the lands of Cowall, from Claychin 
Toskycht to the Points of Toward and Ardlawmonth.^ In 
1539 Alane M'Lane was appointed by King James v. Tosch- 
achdoir of all Kintyre, from the Mull to Altasynach ; ^"^ and 
the same king appointed, in 1542, Neill mac Neill to the same 
office.^^ In 1455, John, Earl of Eoss and Lord of the Isles, 
confirms to Neill macNeill a grant made by his father, Alex- 
ander, Earl of Eoss and Lord of the Isles, to Torquel M'Neill, 
constable of the castle of Swyffin, the father of Neill, of the 
office called Toshachdeora of the lands of Knapdale. ^- In 
1447 we find Sir Duncan Campbell as king's lieutenant within 
the parts of Argyll, granting to Eeginald Malcolmson, of 
Craignish, the offices of Steward, Tosachdoir, and Mair of the 
whole land of Craignish, and the office of Tosachdoir, ex parte 
regis, within the same bounds ; when the heir was under age, 
to be held by his tutor, with consent of his clan, viz., the 
Clandowil Cragniche. ^^ In 1572, Archibald, Earl of Argyll, 
grants to Colin Campbell of Barbrek certain lands with the 
coronership of the lands and baronies of Glenurquhay, the 
two Lochaws, Glenaray, Glenshyro, Ardskeodnich, Melfort, 
and Barbrek, that is, of the district forming the central part 
of Argyll between Lorn and Lochfyne. ^* In another grant, 
it is termed the office of Tosheadorach of the lands lying west 
of Lochfyne. ^•'' That part of the great district of Argyll 

" Beg. Maij. Sig., lib. xxx. No. 552. 

^^ Beg. Sec. Sig., vol. xiii. fol. 17. '' Jfj. vol. xvi. p. 1. 

'- MacNeill Charters. ^^ Argyll Charters. 

'■* Protocol Book of Gavin Hamiltou. '' Poltalloch Charters. 

.302 Till; FINK Oi; ULAN IN SCOTLAND. [book ill. 

wliich peitiiined to the earldom of Moray eontained the lesser 
districts of Lochaber, Morvaren, Ardnaniurchan, and Garino- 
ran, and here too wv. find the Lord of the Isles granting, in 
1456, to his esquire Sonierled, son of John, son of Sonierled, 
for life, and to his eldest son for five years after his death, a 
davach of his lands of Gleneves, with the office commonly 
called Tocheachdeora of all his lands of Lochaber, and he seems 
to have derived from it the name of 2\)c7ie or Toshach, as in 
1553 or 1554 the same lands of Gleneves are granted to his 
grandson, here called Donald Macallaster Mic Toche.^*^ 

There is no trace of the office of Toschachdor, under this 
name, in connection with the more eastern districts of Moray, 
but there is no reason to doubt that such districts as Bade- 
noch, Strathspey, Strathdearn, Strathnairn, Stratherrich, and 
the Aird, represented what had formerly been tribe territories 
or Tnaths, and the same may be predicated of similar districts 
in the northern earldoms. In Atholl, as we have seen, the 
thanages appear even though within the Highland Line, but 
here we find the office of Toscliaclidor in connection with one 
district in Breadalbane which was adjacent to one of these 
thanages, for among the lands of the earldom of Breadalbane 
we find the thanage of Cranach, with the office of Tosliach- 
doiraship of Ardtholony,^'^ and the office likewise appears in 
Lennox, where Malcolm, earl of Lennox, grants to Patrick 
de Lindsay the office of Tosheagor of Lennox. ^^ We find a 
trace of it, too, in Galloway, where the office of coroner 
between the rivers Dee and Nith and the Toshachdoraclit of 
Nithsdale appear to be the same.^'' 
First But while the more ancient tribal forms had thus under- 

of dans.'^^'^ goue a proccss of change and modification similar to that 
which characterised the Irish tribe, and left merely its shadow 

^® Letterfinlay Charters, Or'uj. otiicium quod dicitur Tosheagor de 

Par., voL ii. p. 61. Levenax. 

1- , , ,. r, 7- . ,,, "* Record of Retours, Kirkcud- 

^' AcU oj Parliament, X. 114. i • , . >t nr. t, ^ x • r . 

bright. No. 30. Robertson s Index, 

'^ Chart, of Lennox, \}. -i^. Totum 146. 25. 


beliind it in the geographical district and the function of 
the ToshaclidoracM, it is in the reign of David the First that 
the sept or clan first appears as a distinct and prominent 
feature in the social organisation of the Gaelic population, 
and owing to the light thrown upon the ancient state of the 
earldom of Buchan as a Celtic Mortuath by the Book of Deer 
only. During the period of the Mormaers of Buchan prior 
to Garnait and Colban, who were Mormaers or earls in the 
reign of David, we find the Toisechs mentioned generally as 
concurring in grants of land ; but in the time of these two 
Mormaers a grant of land is made by Comgill mac Caennaig, 
Tosech of Clan Canan ; and Colban, Mormacr of Buchan, and 
Eva, daughter of Garnait his wife, and Donnacliach mac 
Sithig, Toisech of Clan Morgan, niortmained all the previous 
offerings to God, Drostan, Columcille, and Peter, that is, to 
the monastery of Deer, and this grant is witnessed, among 
others, by the two sons of the Toisech. The Toisech of the 
Tiiath had thus by this time acquired a sufficient Deis to 
form a sept of his kin and dependants, of which he now 
appears as the head, but the clans in this district only show 
themselves to disappear at once before the advancing coloni- 
sation of the eastern districts by a Teutonic population. 

In the same reign we find a Gaelic sept or clan appearing ^1^,1 ^^^c- 
where we might least expect to find it, viz., in the province p|.\viie°es?^ 
of Fife and Fothiiff, where the Clan Macduff figures from 
an early period in both the mythic and the real history of 
Scotland, and has acquired a fictitious importance from the 
supposed connection of its founders with the usurper Mac- 
beth, from which the privileges known as the law of the 
Clan Macduff were supposed to be derived. The well-known 
tale of how Macduff was Thane of Fife in the reign of Mac- 
beth, how he incurred the resentment of the usurper and fled 
to England from his wrath, how his wife and children were 
slaughtered, and how he brought back Malcolm, the son of 
King Duncan whom Macbeth had slain, and how he killed 


Macbeth in the battle which placed Malcolm on the throne, 
first appears in the Chronicle of John of Fordun,^** but he 
does not notice the privileges supposed to be conferred upon 
him and his descendants. These first appear in an addition 
made to the Chronicle by his interpolator Bower, the abbot 
of Inchcohu. According to him, after Malcolm was crowned, 
Macduff, thane of Fife, came to him, and requested and 
obtained three privileges, in reward for his faithful service, 
for himself and his successors, lords or thanes of Fife : — First, 
that they should place the king in his royal seat or chair on 
his coronation day ; second, that they should lead the van- 
guard in every battle in which the royal standard was un- 
furled ; third, that they, and every one of their kin, on the 
occasion of any sudden and unpremeditated homicide, should 
enjoy the privilege of the law of Macduff, the gentry on pay- 
ing twenty-four marks as kinbot, and the commonalty on 
paying twelve marks receiving a plenary remission.-^ Wyn- 
toun gives the same account of the three privileges, but adds — 

' Oflf this hnvcli are thre capytale ; 
That is the Bhvk Prest off Weddale, 
The Thayne off Fyffe, and the thr}'d syne 
Quha ewyre be Lord of Abbyrnethyne.' '■'- 

Sir John Skene, however, attaches the third privilege to 
the Croce of the Clan Macduff which divides Stratherne from 
Fife, as a privilege and liberty of girth in such sort that when 
any manslayer, being within the ninth degree of kin and 
blood to Macduff, sometime earl of Fife, came to that cross 
and gave nine cows and a colpindach,or year-old cow, he was 
free of the slaughter committed by him, and quotes a charter 
by David the Second to William Eamsay of the earldom of 
Fife, with the law called Clan Macduff.--^ The existence 

-" Fordun's Chronicle, Book v. -' Scotkhronkon , ii. p. 252. 

" Wyntoun, voL ii. p. 141 (ed. 1872). 

^ Skene, De Verhorum Signlficatione, voce Clan Macduff. 

CHAP, viii.] THE FIn6 or clan IN SCOTLAND. 305 

of this privilege is so far confirmed that in a Parliament of 
Kins Robert the Second, held in 1384, in which certain laws 
were enacted regarding Katheranes, the earl of Fife agreed 
that as ' principal of law of Clan Macduff ' (cajpitalis legis de 
Olen m'Duffe), he would cause them to be observed within 
his bounds ;-* and in the fragmentary code of laws it is 
enacted that the duelluin, or wager of battle, may be re- 
mitted in three instances, the second being ' by the law of 
the Clan Macduff for the slaughter of one of the kin, if the 
kin of the other party can come in the place of combat when 
the appealer is proven, and his lance.' ^^ We thus see that 
when the line of the Celtic Earls of Fife, the hereditary 
Toshachs of the tribe, failed, they were replaced by the Capi- 
talis legis, ' Capytale of lawch,' or Toshaclidor, the principal 
being the alien Earl, to whom Wyutoun joins the priest of 
Wedale, a parsonage belonging to St. Andrews, and the Lord 
of Abernethy, the descendant of the old abbots of the monas- 
tery of that name. Hector Boece pushes the origin of the 
clan as far back as the reign of Kenneth MacAlpin, the 
founder of the Scottish dynasty, who, according to that 
veracious chronicler, appointed governors of the different 
provinces, that of Fife being a certain Fifus Duffus. 

There were of course no thanes of Fife at any time. The 
first appearance of the name on record is in the reign of 
David the First, when Gillemichel Macduff witnesses an 
early charter of that monarch to the monks of Dunfermline, 
along with five earls, one of whom is Constantine, earl of 
Fife, and he certainly is the same person who witnesses the 
foundation charter of Holyrood shortly after as ' Gillemichel 
Comes,' and had thus become earl of Fife. 

The demesne of the earls of Fife of this race appears to 
have consisted of the parishes of Cupar, Kilmany, Reres, and 
Cameron in Fife, and those of Strathmigio and Auchter- 
^ Acts of Parliament, vol. i. p. 55L "' lb. p. 746. 

VOL. in. U 


inuchty in Follniff,-*' near which Macduff's Cross was situ- 
ated, but whether this sept were the remains of the old 
Celtic inhabitants of the province, or a Gaelic clan intro- 
duced into it when its chief was made earl, it is difficult to 
say, but it is not impossible that it may have been a northern 
clan who followed Macbeth when the southern districts were 
subjected to his rule, and that there may be some foundation 
for the legend that the founder of the clan had rebelled 
against him, and adopted the cause of Malcolm Ceannmor, 
and so maintained his position. The fact that the race from 
whom the Mormaers of Moray derived their origin is termed 
in one of the Irish Genealogical MSS. Clan Duff, and the 
earls of Fife undoubtedly possessed from an early period 
large possessions in the north, including the district of 
Strathavon,^'^ lends some probability to this supposition. 
The privileges ^of the clan, however, stand on a different 
footing. From the earliest period the territory of Fife 
<3omes prominently forward as the leading province of 
Scotland, and its earls occupied the first place among the 
seven earls of Scotland. The first two privileges of placing 
the king on the Coronation Stone, and of heading the van 
in the army, were probably attached to the province of Fife, 
and not to any particular tribe from which its earls niight 
have been derived, while on the other hand the third seems 
derived from the institution connected with the ancient Fine, 
by which the kin formed a class of seventeen persons, con- 
sisting of the Geilfini, Deirhhfin6, Indfine, and larjini, and 
the nine degrees of kindred of the Clan Macduff correspond 
to the first two, which consisted of nine persons, traces of 
which can also be found in the Welsh Laws. 

Whilst the sept or clan thus makes its appearance in 
these few instances beyond the Highland Line, it no 

-*• Hidoriral l>ociimfiit>i of Scotland, e(.litc<l by J. Stevenson, vol. i. 
]i. -Ho. -' Chart, of Moray, p. 12. 


doubt had already assumed an equally distinct form within 
that boundary ; but whatever may have been the condition 
of the clans in the more inaccessible region of the Highlands, 
history throws little light upon their existence till they 
emerge beyond it towards the end of the fourteenth century. 

Fordun, who concludes his Chronicle immediately before Description 
the first appearance of a Highland clan beyond the Highland landers- 
Line, gives the following description of the inhabitants of " 
the Highlands : — ' The Highlanders and people of the Islands 
are,' he says, ' a savage and untamed nation, rude and inde- 
pendent, given to rapine, ease-loving, of a docile and warm 
disposition, comely in person but unsightly in dress, hostile 
to the Anglic people and language, and, owing to diversity 
of speech, even to their own nation, and exceedingly cruel. 
They are, however, faithful and obedient to their king and 
country, and easily made to submit to law, if properly 
governed.'"^ This is a picture drawn by one who had no 
friendly feeling towards them, but the good qualities with 
which he credits tliem, of being of a docile and warm dispo- 
sition, and faithful and obedient to tlieir king and country, 
read as strangely to us when their subsequent history is 
taken into account, as Fordun's opinion that the dress is 
unsightly hardly corresponds with modern taste. At the 
time he wrote, however, he was warranted in what he said, 
for from the time when Alexander the Second finally sup- 
pressed the rebellion of the people of Moray, and conquered 
Argyll in the early part of his reign, to his own day, they had 
not broken out beyond their mountain barrier, and these 
early rebellions arose from their adherence to a family which 
they believed had a rightful claim to the throne, just as those 
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were the result 
of their attachment to the cause of the Stewarts. 

Tliis state of quiescence was not destined, however, to 
-* Fordun, Chronicle, vol. ii. p. 38. 

308 THE FINE on CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book hi. 

itaiii into coiitiiiue long, and within eight years after the death of the 
1391. chronicler the irruptions of the Highlanders into the low 

country were renewed, and they now appear in the form of 
separate septs or clans. Eobert the Second had, in the first 
year of his reign, granted the lands of Badenoch, which had 
been forfeited by the Cumyns, to his fourth son, Alexander, 
who, from his fierce disposition, became known as the Wolf 
of Badenoch, and some years after he obtained grants of the 
lands of Strathavon, which had belonged to the earls of Fife, 
and of Abernethy in Strathtay. Alexander had no family 
by his wife Eupham, countess of Boss, but a number of 
illefjitiraate sons: and Bower tells us that in 1391 the 
Caterans, as he calls them, invaded the Braes of Angus with 
Duncan Stewart, one of his sons, at their head, and w^ere 
encountered by Walter Ogilvy, sheriff of Angus, with such 
of the barons of Angus and their followers as he could 
hastily summon, at a place called by him Glenbrereth, where 
the sheriff was slain with sixty of his followers.-^ Wyntoun 
gives a very graphic account of this raid, which he places in 
the subsequent year, when he says, 'There arose a great 
discord between Sir David of Lindsay, son of Glenesk, and 
the Highlandmen, and that in consequence of the former 
sending a secret spy into the Highlands, a great company of 
Hishlandmen, to the number of three hundred and more, 
came suddenly into Angus under three chieftains, Thomas, 
Patrick, and Gibbon, whose surname was Duncanson, and 
encountered the sheriff at Gasklune, in the Stormont, where 
the latter was slain.' ^^ It is unnecessary to enter into the 
particulars of the conflict, striking though the details are, but 
we have more certain information as to the leaders of the 
Highlanders in a Brief issued by King Eobert the Third at a 
creneral council held at Perth on the 26th March 1392, and 
addressed to the sheriff and bailiffs of Aberdeen, directing 

-^ Scotichronkon, vol. ii. p. 420. "^' Wyiitouii's Chronicle, vol. iii. p. oS. 


them to put to the horn as outlaws the following persons, 
guilty of the slaughter of Walter de Ogilvy, Walter de 
Lichtou, and others of the king's lieges :— viz., Duncan and 
Robert Stewarts, Patrick and Thomas Duncansons, Kobert de 
Athale, Andrew Macnayr, Duncan Bryceson, Angus Macnayr, 
and John Ayson junior, and all others their adherents ; and 
as taking part with them in the slaughter, Slurach and his 
brothers, with the whole Clanqwhevil, William Mowat, 
John de Cowts, Donald de Cowts, with their adherents ; 
David de Rose, Alexander M'Kintalyhur, John M'Kinta- 
lyhur, Adam Rolson, John Eolson, with their adherents ; 
Duncan Neteraulde, John Mathyson, with their adherents ; 
Morgownde Ruryson and Michael Mathowson, with their 
adherents.^^ They thus formed six groups. The first group 
who were directly implicated, with the exception of the 
Stewarts, belong to Athole ; the Duncansons, with Robert de 
Athale, were the heads of the Clan Donuachie, descended 
from the old earls who possessed the north-western district 
bordering upon that of Badenoch ; the Macnairs possessed 
Foss in Strathtummel, and the Aysons, Tullimet in Strathtay. 
The other five were art and part. The first were Slurach and 
his brothers, who with their followers formed a clan termed 
the Clanqwhevil. This is the first appearance of a distinct 
clan in the Highlands. The second group of the Mowats and 
Cowtts belonged to Buchan, of which Alexander Stewart was 
earl ; and the third of David de Rose and his followers, must 
have come from Strathnairn, where the Roses were situated. 
These groups were, therefore, probably dependants of the 
Wolf of Badenoch, and the cause of this raid seems to have 
arisen from this, that Sir David de Lindsay had inherited 
Glenesk in Angus and the district of Strathnairn from his 
mother, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Sir John Stirling 
of Glenesk, while another of the daughters had married 

•'" Acts of Parliament, vol. i. p. 579. 



Robert de Atholia. His possession of Stratlinairn would 
bring him into contact with the Wolf of Badenocli and the 
northern clans, and a quarrel regarding the succession pro- 
bably brought the Clan Donnachie into the field. 
Combat oi The Wolf of Badenocli died in 1391, and two years after, 

two t'Lans . 1 tt- i i ^ ^ 1-1 • 1 • 1 1 1 • 

on North the Only Higliiaud clan hitherto mentioned with that desig- 
Perth in nation, came more prominently into the foreground in the 
very remarkable combat which took place on the North Inch 
of Perth in the year 1396, and from its peculiarity seems to 
have attracted general notice, as well as given rise to a 
controversy with regard to the actors in it, for which it is 
difficult to provide any satisfactory solution. 

The account given by the chroniclers of this remarkable 
combat differs somewhat as to the details. The earliest 
account of it is probably that given by Wyntouu, who wrote 
his Chronicle between 1420 and 1424, or only about twenty- 
five years after the event. He says that the combat took 
place at Saint Johnstoun or Perth between sixty men, thirty 
against thirty, who belonged to two clans who had been at 
variance in old feud in which their fore elders were slain. 
He names the clans Clahynnhe (or Clan) Qwhewyl, and 
Clachiny (or Clan) Ha, and that their chieftains were Scha 
Ferqwhareisone and Christy Jolinesone ; that they fought 
within barriers with bow and axe, knife and sword ; but that 
who had the best of it he could not say, and that fifty or 
more were slain, and but few escaped with life.^- 

Bower, who wrote nearly twenty-five years later, gives 
further details. He says that a great part of the north be- 
yond the Grampians had been disturbed by two turbulent 
caterans and their followers: — Scheabeg and his kin, who 
were called Clan Kay, and Cristi Johnson, and his, called 
Clanquhele, who could by no treaty or arrangement be 
brought to peace, nor could they be brought under subjection 

^- Wyntoun'a Chronic/e, ed. 1879, vol. iii. p. 63. 


to the government, upon which David de Lyndesay of Craw- 
ford, and Thomas earl of Moray, interposed and treated be- 
tween them, so that they agreed to settle their quarrel before 
the king at Perth, by a combat between thirty chosen men 
of their kin on each side, armed only with their swords, bows 
and arrows, and without their plaids or other arms. The 
combat took place on the North Inch of Perth, in presence of 
the king, the governor, and a great multitude, on the Monday 
before Saint Michael's day, when, of the sixty, all were slain 
except one on the part of the Clan Kay and eleven on the 
other part. He adds that as they were entering mthin the 
barrier, one of the number dashed into the river and escaped 
by swimming across, on which one of the spectators ofiered 
to supply his place for half a mark, on condition that if he 
survived he was to be maintained during the rest of his life, 
which was agreed to. The result was that the north was for 
many years after at peace, and there was no further outbreak 
of the caterans.33 The material difference between Bower's 
account and Wyntoun's is, that he reverses the connection of 
the chiefs with the clans, and adds the detail of the numbers 
slain on both sides, and the aid of the volunteer. 

The next account is given by Maurice Buchanan, in the 
Book of Pluscarden, who wrote in 1461, and differs very 
much from that of Bower. He connects this event with the 
raid into Angus five years previously, and implies that the 
same parties were concerned in both, but he does not name 
the clans. This was so far the case, that the Clan Qwhele 
took part in both. He says that in 1391 so great a conten- 
tion had arisen among the wild Scots {silvcstres Scottos), 
that their whole country was disturbed by it, and, on that 
account, the king finding himself unable to restore peace, 
arranged, in a council of the magnates of the kingdom, that 
their two principal captains, with their best and most valiant 
^ Scotklironko)!, vol. ii. p. 420. 

312 THE FIN15 OH CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book hi. 

friends, amounting on each side to thirty men, should light in 
an enclosed field after the manner of judicial combatants (mon 
ducllaiicium)^^* with swords only, cross bows having each three 
arrows only, and this before the king on a certain day on the 
North Inch of Perth ; and this, by the intervention of the earl 
of Crawford and other nobles, was agreed upon and carried 
out, when all on both sides were slain except seven, five on 
the one side and two on the other escaping alive, of which 
two one escaped by flying to the river and escaping across it, 
and the other being taken was pardoned with the consent of 
the other party, though some say that he was hung. In the 
beginning of the conflict one of the number of one party dis- 
appeared and could not be found, on which one of the specta- 
tors, who happened to belong to the same clan (parentela) 
and was hostile to the other party, agreed to supply his place 
for forty shillings, fought most valiantly, and escaped with 
his life.^^ As the wTiter of this account was himself a High- 
lander, this is most probably the account given of the combat 
on the Highland side, while that of Bower was the account 
reported in the Lowlands ; and the former has more appear- 
ance of being the correct account, and agrees better with that 
of AVyntoun, who could not tell which party gained. It also 
indicates that the conflict was of the nature of a judicial 
wager of battle, which is also probably the true view ; for if 
the contention between the clans was a mere ordinary feud, 
it is difficult to see how this combat should have been the 
means of restoring peace, but if the dispute related to some 
difference as to some question of right or privilege which 
both claimed, it is quite intelligible that it should have been 
settled by judicial combat before the king. 

The only other early notice of this event is in a short 
chronicle contained in the Chartulary of Moray, which states 

^ See Skene, De Verbnrum Sij., voce Duelluni. 
'■^^ Book of Phiscarden, vol. i. p. 'i30. 


that the combat took place on the 28th day of September at 
Perth before the king and the nobles of Scotland, because 
he found it impossible to establish peace between two clans 
{'parentelas) called the Clan Kay and the Clan Qwhwle, 
whence there were daily slaughtering attacks committed by 
them. Thirty men on each side without armour, but with 
bows, swords, and dirks, met in conflict, when all on the 
side of the Clan Kay were slain except one, and of the other 
party ten survived.^^ 

If this event was connected with the raid of Angus The cian 

,.,„,, 1 Ti • Chattan 

which preceded it, the events which followed may likewise and Clan 
tend to throw light upon the actors in this strange combat. 
When the royal forces attacked Alexander, Lord of the Isles, 
in 1429, and put him to flight in Lochaber, the chroniclers 
tell us, that at the sight of the royal standard, he was de- 
serted by two tribes, who submitted to the royal autho- 
rity. They are termed by Bower the Clan Katan and Clan 
Cameron, and by Maurice Buchanan, more correctly, the 
Clan de Guyllequhatan and Clan Cameron. This was on the 
eve of St. John the Baptist's day, that is, on the 23d of June, 
and on the following Palm Sunday, which is on the 20th day 
of the following month of March, we are told by the chroni- 
clers that the Clan Chattan attacked the Clan Cameron 
when assembled in a certain church, to which they set fire 
and destroyed nearly the whole clan. Although the Clan 
Chattan are here said, in general terms, to have deserted 
the Lord of the Isles, it appears that a part of the clan still 
adhered to his cause, for after his restoration to liberty, we 
find him in 1443 granting a charter to Malcolm Macintosh 
of the forty merk lands of Keppoch and others in the lord- 
ship of Lochaber, and in 1447 he confers upon him the 
office of bailie or steward of the lordship of Lochaber.^" 
This Malcolm, who is called in the second charter his cousin, 

'^^ Chart, of Moray, p. 382. ■*' Macintosh Charters. 


was related to the Lord of the Isles through his mother, who 
was a daughter of his grandfather Angus, Lord of the Isles, 
and was thus probably led to adhere to him. Tlie same 
lands are confirmed to his sou Duncan Macintosh in 1466, 
by John, Lord of the Isles,^^ and in this charter he is termed 
Captain of Clan Chattan, which is the first appearance of 
this designation. 

Neither were the Clan Cameron entirely destroyed, for 
we find Alan, sou of Donald Duff, appearing in 1472 as 
Captain of the Clan Cameron, and in 1492, Alexander of 
the Isles, Lord of Lochalsh and Lochiel, grants the lands 
of Lochiel to Ewen, sou of Alan, son of Donald, Captain of 
Clan Cameron. It would thus appear that a part only of 
these two clans had deserted the Lord of the Isles in 1429, 
and a part adhered to him, that the conflict on Palm Sunday 
was between the former part of these clans, and that the 
leaders of those who adhered to the Lord of the Isles became 
afterwards recognised as captains of the respective clans. It 
further appears that there was, within no distant time after 
the conflict on the North Inch of Perth, a bitter feud between 
the two clans who had deserted the Lord of the Isles, and 
there are indications that this was merely the renewal of an 
older quarrel, for both clans undoubtedly contested the right 
to the lands of Glenlui and Locharkaig in Lochaber, to 
which "William Macintosh received a charter from the Lord 
of the Isles in 1336, while they unquestionably afterwards 
formed a part of the territory possessed by the Camerons. 

By the later historians one of the clans who fought on 
the North Inch of Perth, and who were termed by the earlier 
chroniclers Clan Qwhclc, are identified with the Clan Chat- 
tan,^^ and that this identification is well founded, so far as 

^ Reg. Mag. Sig., lib. xiii. Xo. 96. 

^* Hector Boece terms them the Clan Quhete, substituting simply t for I. 
His translators Bellenden, Leslie, and Buchanan, all have Clan Chattan. 


regards that part of the clan which adhered to the royal 
cause, while that in the part of the Clan Cameron who fol- 
lowed the same course, and were nearly entirely destroyed on 
Palm Sunday, we may recognise their opponents the Clan 
Kay, is not without much probability. 

The Clan Chattan in later times consisted of sixteen septs, 
who followed Macintosh as captain of the clan, but did not 
recognise him as one of the race, and regarded MacPherson of 
Cluny, head of the sept called Clan Vuireach, as the male 
representative of the founder of the clan. The first of the 
Macintoshes who appears with the title of Captain of Clan 
Chattan is Duncan Macintosh, the son of Malcolm, in 1400 
and in 1466, and he was probably placed by the Lord of the 
Isles over that part of the clan who adhered to him. Eight 
of the septs forming the later Clan Chattan may be put aside 
as having been afliliated to the clan subsequently to the year 
1429, as well as the family of Macintosh, descended from 
Malcolm. The remainder represent the clan as it existed 
before that date. It consisted of an older sept of Macin- 
toshes, who possessed lands in Badenoch, the principal of 
which was Eothiemurchus, and appears to have claimed those 
of Glenlui and Locharkaig in Lochaber. The eight septs who 
then formed the Clan Chattan proper were the Clan Vuirich 
or MacPhersons, and the Clan Day or Davidsons, who were 
called the old Clan Chattan, and six stranger septs, who took 
protection from the clan. These were the Clan Vic Ghille- 
vray or MacGillivrays, the Clan Vcan or MacBeans, the Clan 
Vic Govies, the Ckm Tarrel, the Clan Cheandiiy, and the 
Sliochd Gowchruim or Smiths. The Clan Vic Govies, how- 
ever, were a branch of the Clan Cameron, and the Sliochd 
Gowchruim were believed to be descendants of the person 
who supplied the place of the missing member of the clan 
at the combat on the North Inch of Perth, and who was 
said to have been a smith. 


The Clan Cameron, on the other hand, consisted of four 
septs. These were the Clan Gillavfhaigh or Gillonie, or 
Camerons of Invernialie and Strone, the Clan Soirlie, or 
Camerons of Glenevis, the Clan Vic Mhxtrtain, or MacMar- 
tins of Letterfinlay, and the Camerons of Lochiel. The latter 
were the sept whose head became Captain of Clan Cameron 
and adhered to the Lord of the Isles, while the three former 
represented the part of the clan who seceded from him in 
1429. Besides these there were dependent septs, the chief 
of which were the Clan Vic Gilveil or M'Millans, and these 
were believed to be of the race of Clan Chattan. The con- 
nection between the two clans is thus apparent. Now there 
are preserved genealogies of both clans in their earlier forms, 
written not long after the year 1429. One is termed the 
' Genealogy of the Clan an Toisig, that is, the Clan Gilla- 
chattan,' and gives it in two separate lines. The first repre- 
sented the older Macintoshes. The second is deduced from 
Gillachattan Mor, the eponymus of the clan. His great- 
grandson Muireach, from whom the Clan Vuireach takes its 
name, has a son Domnall or Donald, called in Caimgilla, and 
this word when aspirated would form the name Kevil or 
Quhcvil}^ The chief seat of this branch of the clan can 
also be ascertained, for Alexander, Lord of the Isles and Earl 
of Eoss, confirms a charter granted by William, earl of Eoss, 
in 1338 of the lands of Dalnafert and Kinrorayth or Kinrara, 
under reservation of one acre of ground near the Stychan of 
the town of Dalnavert, where was situated the manor of the 
late Scayth, son of Ferchard,^^ and we find a ' Tsead, son of 
Ferquhar ' in the Genealogy at the same period. Moreover the 
grandson of this Scayth was Disiab or Shaw, who thus was 
contemporary with the Shaw who fought in 1396. The 

■*^ Just as iSaint Caimhghin of Glendalough became Saint Kevin, so 
Caimhghilla became Kevil. Bower uses k for c and quh for '•/;. 
*^ Miscellany of the Spalding Club, vol. iv. p. 26. 


gravestone said to mark the grave of Shaw Corshiacloch, or 
buck-toothed, whom tradition declares to be the Shaw who 
led the clan at the combat, was, according to Shaw, still to 
be seen in the adjacent church of Rothiemurchus. He is 
also said to have married the daughter of Kenneth Mac- 
vuireach, ancestor of the Macpherson of Cluny, and in him 
and his father-in-law we may probably recognise the 
' Kenethus Mor with his son-in-law, leader of two thousand 
men,' who were arrested by James the First at his Parliament 
at Inverness in 1427.'*'^ With regard to the Clan Cameron, 
the invariable tradition is that the head of the MacGillonies 
or MacGillaanaigh led the clan who fought with the Clan 
Chattan during the long feud between them, and the old 
Genealogy terms the Cameron's Clan Maelanfhaigh, or the 
race of the servant of the prophet, and deduces them from a 
common ancestor the Clan Maelanfhaigh and the Clan Cam- 
shron, and as the epithet an Caimgilla, when aspirated, 
would become Kevil, so the word Fhaigh in its aspirated 
form would be represented by the Hay of the chroniclers.*^ 

John Major probably gives the clew to the whole trans- 
action, when he tells us that 'these two clans' — the Clan Chat- 
tan and Clan Cameron, which we have seen had a certain con- 
nection through their dependent septs, ' were of one blood, 
having but little in lordships, but following one head of their 
race as principal with their kinsmen and dependants.'** He 
is apparently describing their position before these dissensions 
broke out between them, and his description refers us back to 

^"^ Hid. of Moray, p. 67. This Clan Chattan history are quite un- 

Shaw was believed to be the first reliable. 

of the Shaws of Rothiemurchus, ■^^ These genealogies are printed 

but the earlier part of the pedigree in the Appendix, 

of this family is quite fictitious, for ^ Tribus ha? sunt consanguinei 

he is made to be the son of Gilchrist, parum in dominiis habentes, sed 

son of John, who was in fact his unum caput progeniei tanquam 

opponent. He is said by Shaw to principem sequentes cum suis afii- 

have died in 1405, but the tradi- nibus et subditis.— J. Major, Scot. 

tionary dates connected with the Hid., lib. vi. f. 1.32. 

318 TIIK FINK 01! CLAN L\ SCOTLAND. [book in. 

tlie period when the two clans formed one tribe, possessing 
the district of Loch.aber as tlieir Tuath or country, where the 
lands in dispute — Glenlui and Locharkaig — were probably 
the official demesne of the old Toisech or head of the tribe. 
Th.' < 'iiiei The clans are here described as consistini^ of two divi- 

ati.l the . '^ 

Kiiisineii. .sions : The one of the Kinsmen, or those of the blood of the 
sept ; the other of the dependants or subordinate septs, who 
might be of different race. The former clan are well defined 
in the Gartmore MS., written in the year 1747. The writer 
says that ' the property of these Highlands belongs to a great 
many different persons, wjio are more or less considerable in 
proportion to the extent of their estates, and to the command 
of men that live upon them, or follow them, on account of 
this clanship, out of the estates of others. These lands are 
set by the landlord during pleasure, or a short tack, to people 
whom they call goodmen {Duine Uasail), and who are of a 
superior station to the commonalty. These are generally 
the sons, brothers, cousins, or nearest relations of the land- 
lord (or chief). This, by means of a small portion, and the 
liberality of their relations, they are able to stock, and which 
they, their children and grandchildren, possess at an easy 
rent, till a nearer descendant be again preferred to it. As 
the propinquity removes, they become less considered, till at 
last they degenerate to be of the common people, unless some 
accidental acquisition of wealth supports them above their 
station. As this hath been an ancient custom, most of the 
farmers and cottars are of the name and clan of the pro- 
prietor.' This exactly describes the Irish Fi7i^ in its re- 
stricted sense, where the immediate kin of the Ccannfin^ or 
chief consists of seventeen persons, forming the BiUhach 
Fine, from whence they pass by degrees into the Duthaign 
Dainc or commonalty of the Fin6 or sept. 

Ti^e °a»'i^'e- The dependent septs, on the other hand, represent the 
Fmdhir of the Irish tribal system. Their position will be 



best understood by the Bonds of Manrent or Manred, which 
came to be taken by the chiefs from their dependants when 
the relation constituted by usage and traditional custom was 
relaxed by time, or when a new relationship was constituted 
at a later period. Thus in a bond by a sept of M'Gillikeyr 
to John Campbell of Glenurchy, in 1547, he declares that 
they have chosen him of their own free motive to their chief 
to be their protector in all great actions, as a chief does in 
the countries of the Highlands, and shall have lands of him 
in assedation ; and when any of them deceases shall leave to 
him and his heirs ' ane cawlpe of kenkynie,' as is used in the 
countries about. Again, in a bond by Duncan M'Olcallum 
and others of the Clan Teir to Colyne Campbell of Glenurchay 
in 1556, they state that in consequence of the slaughter of 
Johne M'Gillenlay, foster-brother of Sir Colyne Campbell of 
Glenurchay, their predecessor, for sythment and recompence 
of said slaughter, had delivered to him one of the principal 
committers of it called John Eoy M'Ynteir, to be punished at 
his will ; and moreover had elected and taken him and his 
heirs for their chiefs and masters, and given to him their 
calps, which calps the said Colyne, Sir Duncan Campbell of 
Glenurchay, his son that deceased at Flodden (1513), and all 
other lairds of Glenurchay had since taken up ; and the said 
Clan Teir of new ratify the bond in favour of Colyne, now of 
Glenurchay. Again, we find in 1559 Archibald, earl of 
Argyll, transferring to his cousin Colyne Campbell of Glen- 
urchay and his heirs-male the manrent, homage, and service 
which his predecessors and he had and has of the ' haill kyn 
and surname of the Clanlaurane and their posteritie,' to- 
gether with the uptaking of their calps, providing the said 
Colyne obtain their consent thereto.*^ 

It is unnecessary to quote more of these bonds, which aie 

*■' Black Book of Taymouth, pp. 185, 200. Many others of the same 
description will be found in this book. 


usually in the same terms ; and we may conclude with the 
following taken from ' aue list of the native-men of Craignish.' 
In 1592 Malcolme Moir Makesaig and his sons appeared at 
Barrichbyan, and gave to their well-beloved Ronald Campbell 
McEan VcDonald of Barrichbyan and his heirs their bond 
of manred and calpis for ever, and shall follow and obey him 
and his heirs in whatever place he and his foresaids transport 
themselves in the country or without ; and shall obey them 
as native-men ought and should do to their chief; and 
Ronald obliges himself and his heirs to be a good chief and 
master to them as his native-men, and to give to them their 
duty that they and their succession of men and women ought 
to have after calpis, conform to the use of the country. In 
1595 similar agreements were made by other small septs, and 
in a bond of manrent granted by Gillicallum McDonchie 
Vclntyre VcCoshen to Ranald Campbell of Barrechebyan in 
1612, in which he states, ' Forasmuch as I understand of gude 
memorie that the surname of Clanntyre VcCoshen wer of 
auld native-men, servandis and dependaris to the house and 
surename of Clandule Cregnis, alias Campbellis in Cregnis, 
and willing of my dewtie to renew the band and service of 
my sadis forbearis war of auld, and dewtie to the sadis house 
and surename, and acknowledging Rannald Campbell of 
Barrichbyan to be of the samin house and surname,' he 
becomes bound, for himself and all others descended of his 
body, ' to be leill, trew, and of auld, native-men in all lawlie- 
ness and subjection to the said Rannald and his airis-male 
for ever, and that according as my predecessors were in use of 
befoir, and as ony native-men are in use in Argyll, in special 
sail serve be sea and land the said Rannald, etc. ; and in 
token to uplift from me at my decease the second but aucht 
that I sail have at the time foresaid in name of calp, to wit, 
ane hors, meir, or mart ; ' and ' providing alwayis the said 
Rannald and his airis do the dewtie of ane chief or maister 


to me and my airis male and female, as use is ; attour I 
grant me, as use is, to half gotten at the making heirof ane 
oruid and sufficient sword, ressavit and deliverit be the said 
Kannald to remane as ane memorial! taikin of this my band 
of manrent.'*^ 

Another feature in the relation between the chief and his Fosterage. 
kinsmen with their dependent septs was the custom of 
fosterage which prevailed among the Highland clans as it 
characterised the Irish tribes. The written contracts of fos- 
terage, which, like the bonds of manrent, superseded the 
unwritten usage during the transition period when the older 
Celtic law was losing its influence, and when it became neces- 
sary for the chiefs to secure their ancient privileges from pass- 
ing away under the pressure of other influences, will afford us 
the best means of ascertaining the true nature of this custom. 
We may refer to the terms of a few of those which have 
been preserved. In 1510 we have an obligation by Johne 
M'Neill Vreik in Stronferua, and Gregoure his brother, to 
receive Coleyne Campbell, lawful third son to Coleyne Camp- 
bell, the eldest son and heir of Sir Duncan Campbell of 
Glenurquhay, knight, in fostering, and to give him a bairn's 
part of gear ; and giving to the said Sir Duncan and his heirs 
their bonds of Manrent and Calps, that is, the best aucht in 
their houses the times of their decease ; the said Sir Duncan 
and Coleyne his son being bound to defend the said John and 
Gregour in the lands of Stronferna, and the rest of the 
roiuvfiis they possess, as law will.'^'^ Again, in 1580, there is 
a contract between Duncane Campbell, fiar of Glenurquhay, 
and his native servant Gillecreist Makdonchy Duff V*^]Srokerd 
and Katherine Neyn Douill Vekconchy his spouse, in which 
the latter bind themselves to take in fostering Duncane 
Campbell, son to the said Duncane, to be sustained by them 

*^ Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 206. 
*~ Black Book of Taymouth, p. 179. 


.322 THK FINl5 OR CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book hi. 

in meat, drink, and nourishment till he be sent to the schools 
with the advice of friends, and to sustain him at the schools 
with reasonable support, the said father and foster-father 
giving between them of Makhelve goods in donation to the 
said bairn at Beltane thereafter, the value of two hundred 
merks of ky and two horses or two mares worth forty merks ; 
these goods, with their increase, to pertain to the said bairn 
as his own chance bears him to, but their milk to pertain to 
the said foster-father and mother so long as they sustain the 
said bairn, and until he be sent to the schools, except so 
much of the milk as will pay the mails of pasture-lands for 
the said cattle, which the said foster-father is bound to find 
for them upon Lochaw, and until such be got he finding for 
them the half of the lands of Auchakynnay, etc.*^ 

The next contract in date, which we shall quote, takes us 
to the Western Isles. It is a contract in 1612, by which Sir 
Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan gives his son Norman to 
John, son of the son of Kenneth, to foster ; and it is a very 
remarkable document, for it is written in Gaelic in the Irish 
character of the time. The conditions are, that if John dies first 
the child is to remain with the widow, but the guardianship 
with John's brother Angus, who is to have the entire charge 
of the child if the widow marries again ; and Sir Roderick is 
to have a son's share of the stock (the bairn's part of the other 
contracts) during the life of himself and his heir and the 
foster-child, along with John's heirs. The stock (Scalbh) 
which is to be put into possession of the foster-child is four 
mares given by the foster-father, and other four mares by the 
father Sir Roderick, along with three which he promised him 
when he took him to his bosom. The charge and keeping of 
the seven mares given by the father to be with the foster- 
father, in order to put them to increase for his foster-son ; 
and the care and keeping of the four mares given by the 
•*8 Black Book of Taymouth, p. 223. 


foster-father to be with the father, to put them to increase 
for him in like manner. Among the witnesses to this con- 
tract are the ministers of Duirinish and Bracadale.*^ The 
last we shall notice is as late as the year 1665, and is a con- 
tract betwixt George Campbell of Airds in Argyllshire and 
Donald Dow M'Ewin in Ardmastill and Eoiss N'Odochardie 
his wife, by which George Campbell gives in fostering to 
Donald Dow and his wife, Isobell Campbell, his lawful 
daughter, for the space of seven years from next Beltane, and 
gives to her as M'Heliff (Shcalbh) two new-calved kyne with 
a calf and a year-old stirk, a two-year-old quey at Beltane 
next, and another two-year-old quey at Beltane 1667 ; and 
Donald Dow and his spouse give to their foster-child two 
farrow kyne, with a stirk and a two-year-old quey at Beltane, 
and another two-year-old quey at Beltane 1667. The whole 
of their cattle with their increase to be in the custody of the 
foster-father and mother during these seven years, the milk 
to belong to the foster-father and the increase of the cattle 
to the foster-child ; Ijut the father is to grass the yeald kyne 
yearly, if the foster-father have not sufficient pasturage for 
them. In addition to this, the foster-father and his spouse 
give the foster-child a bairn's part and portion of their 
whole goods and gear which shall belong to them at their 
decease, as if she was their own lawful child.^^ 

While the clan, viewed as a single community, thus con- 'I'he cian 
sisted of the chief, with his kinsmen to a certain limited kemberh. 
degree of relationship ; the commonalty who were of the 
same blood, who all bore the same name, and his depend- 
ants, consisting of subordinate septs of native-men, who did 
not claim to be of the blood of the chief, but were either 
probably descended from the more ancient occupiers of the 
soil, or were broken men from other clans, who had taken 

""' National MSS. of Scotland, ^" Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, 

vol. ii. No. 84. p. 20. 

324 THE FINt': OK CLAN IN SCOTLAND. [book hi. 

protection from him, the influence of the acquisition of the 
right of property in land, which had originally developed 
the septs out of the tribe, likewise tended to make smaller 
septs within the clan. Those kinsmen of the chief who ac- 
quired the property of their land founded families, in which 
the land became hereditary, and which thus became the 
centres of a new organisation within the clan. The most 
influential of these was that of the oldest cadet in the family 
which had been longest separated from the main stem, and 
usually presented the appearance of a rival house little less 
powerful than that of the chief. There is perhaps no better 
description of the form which the clan ultimately assumed, 
and of the spirit which animated its members, than that 
given by an acute observer in the early part of last century.-''^ 
' The Highlanders,' he says, ' are divided into tribes or clans, 
under chiefs or chieftains, as they are called in the laws of 
Scotland ; and each clan again divided into branches from 
the main stock, who have chieftains over them. These are 
subdivided into smaller branches of fifty or sixty men, who 
deduce their original from their particular chieftains, and 
rely upon them as their more immediate protectors and 
defenders. The ordinary Highlanders esteem it the most 
sublime degree of virtue to love their chief and pay him a 
blind obedience, although it be in opposition to the govern- 
ment, the laws of the kingdom, or even to the law of God. 
Next to this love of their chief is that of the particular branch 
from whence they sprang, and, in a third degree, to those 
of the whole clan or name, whom they will assist, right or 
wrong, against those of any other tribe with which they are at 
variance. They likewise owe goodwill to such clans as they 
esteem to be their particular well-wishers ; and, lastly, they 
have an adherence one to another as Highlanders in opposi- 

^'^ Letters from a gentleman in the p. 1. A few unnecessary expres- 
North of Scotland in 1726, vol. ii. sions have been omitted. 


tiou to the people of the Low Country, whom they despise as 
inferior to them in courage, and believe they have a right to 
plunder them whenever it is in their power. This last arises 
from a tradition that the Lowlands, in old times, were the 
possession of their ancestors. The chief exercises an arbitrary 
authority over his vassals, determines all differences and dis- 
putes that happen among them, and levies taxes upon extra- 
ordinary occasions, such as the marriage of a daughter, 
building a house, or some pretence for his support and the 
honour of the name. This power of the chiefs is not sup- 
ported by interest as they are landlords, but as lineally de- 
scended from the old patriarchs or fathers of the families.' 



[book hi. 



State of 
the High- 
lands ill 
the six- 

The forfeiture of the last Lord of the Isles, and the annexa- 
tion of a great part of his territories to the crown, finally 
brought the whole clans of the Highlands and Islands into 
direct subjection to the royal authority, but the removal of 
the old hereditary rulers of the provinces, and the substitu- 
tion of a central authority which could make itself but little 
felt beyond the Highland Line, left the clans without any 
practical control, and the sixteenth century is mainly charac- 
terised by internal conflicts between the clans themselves, 
which increased the power of some, and broke up the solid- 
arity of others, and by the gradual advance in influence and 
extent of territory in Argyllshire of the Campbells, whose 
astuteness and foresight led them to a uniform support of 
the royal authority, while the Mackenzies acquired a hardly 
less influential position in Ross-shire.^ 

From the early part of the fifteenth century, when Donald 
of the Isles had invaded the Low Country at the head of a 
Highland army of ten thousand men, till the outbreak of the 
civil war in the reign of Charles the First, the clans had 
never broken through the barriers which separated them 
from the Lowlands in the form of one united army ; and it was 

' The history of the clans from the 
forfeiture of the Lords of the Isles in 
1492 to the year 11)25 is given with 

great accuracy and detail in Mr. 
Gregory's History of the West High- 
lands and Isles of Scotland. 


not till Montrose raised the Highland clans to make a diver- 
sion in favour of the king in the north that their power as 
a united people was at all recognised. The rapid and bril- 
liant campaigns of Montrose showed what the clans were 
capable of effecting when brought together and skilfully 
handled, though opposed by all the power and influence of 
Gillespie Gruamach, the Earl of Argyll and head of the 
Campbells. The normal relation of the Highlanders and 
Lowlanders to each other is graphically put by one of the 
greatest of modern writers, who was thoroughly acquainted 
with the subject, when he says, ' The inhabitants of the Low- 
lands were indeed aware that there existed, in the extremity 
of the island, amid wilder mountains and broader lakes than 
their own, tribes of men called clans, living each under the 
rule of their own chief, wearing a peculiar dress, speaking an 
unknown language, and going armed even in the most ordi- 
nary and peaceable vocations. The more southern counties 
saw specimens of these men following the droves of cattle 
which were the sole exportable commodity of their country, 
plaided, bonneted, belted, and brogued, and driving their 
bullocks, as Virgil is said to have spread his manure, with 
an air of great dignity and consequence.^ To their nearer 
Lowland neighbours they were known by more fierce and 
frequent causes of acquaintance ; by the forays which they 
made upon the inhabitants of the plains, and the tribute, or 
protection-money, which they exacted from those whose 
possessions they spared.'^ 

Repeated attempts were made by the kings to control the Names and 

position of 

turbulence of the clans, and to bring them under more com- the clans. 
plete subjection to the government, but it was not till the 
reign of James that a serious effort was made by Parliament 

- In 1566 the Privy Councilissued Icctanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 151. 
a proclamation ' that none presume •* Article on the Culloden Papers 

to molest the Highlanders resorting in the Quarterly Review for January 

to markets in the Lowlands. "—Co/- 1826, written by Sir Walter Scott. 


to effect tliis, when three very important Acts were passed, 
which put us in possession of detailed information as to the 
number and names of the clans at the time. In 1587 an Act 
was passed ' for the quieting and keeping in obedience of the 
disorderit subjectis inhabitants of the Borders, Highlands 
and Isles.' It is unnecessary to enter into any detail as to 
the description given in this Act of the state of these parts of 
the country, which is sufficiently highly coloured, and of the 
remedies proposed by the statute ; but annexed to it are two 
rolls — one ' of the names of the Landlords and Baillies of 
lands dwelling on the Borders and in the Highlands where 
broken men has dwelt and presently dwells ;' and the other, 
' of the Clans that have Captains, Chiefs, and Chieftains, on 
whom they depend ofttimes against the will of their Landlords, 
as well on the Borders as the Highlands, and of some special 
persons of branches of the said clans.'* Here the landlord or 
feudal overlord is distinguished from the captain, chief, and 
chieftain, or tribal head of the clan, both characters being 
sometimes united in the same person, and at other times 
vested in different persons. Neither are the titles of captain, 
chief, and chieftain synonymous. The captain was the person 
who actually led the clan, whether representing the founder 
of the clan in the male line or not, while the chief was the 
Ceanncine, or hereditary head of the tribe, who possessed 
that character, and the chieftain, the Ceanntighe, or head of 
a subordinate sept. The chief was usually also the captain, 
but when he was either set aside from incapacity, or the pre- 
eminent military and administrative talents of a member of 
the clan led to the tribe taking the unusual course of adopting 
him to be their leader, as better able to protect them, he was 
simply termed Captain of the Clan, and the position and title 
usually remained with his descendants, especially if he had 
obtained a feudal title to the lands.^ The whole of the clan, 
■* .4ci!s of Pari, voL iii. p. 462. ^ xhus it was only after the tern- 


however, seldom acquiesced in the adoption of a leader 
separate from the hereditary chief, and in every clan where 
the actual head of it bore the title of Captain we find a con- 
troversy as to the right to the chiefship, and a part of the 
clan holding off from the rest.^ 

Another statute was passed in 1594 ' for punishment of 
thift, reif, oppression, and sorning.'" It contains within it a 
list of clans and surnames inhabiting the Highlands and 
Isles, and likewise a list of broken men of surnames inhabit- 
ing the sheriffdoms of Argyll, Bute, Dumbarton, Stirling, 
Perth, Forfar, Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, Forres, Nairn, Inver- 
ness, and Cromarty ; and stewartries of Stratherne and Men- 
teith. These lists of clans and broken men, with a list 
furnished by MacVureach of the clans who joined Montrose, 
gives us a tolerably complete view of the state of the High- 
land clans at the time, and they may be thus stated, follow- 
ing the order of the districts which they inhabited. 

The Highland district of the earldom of Lennox was 
occupied by the Clan Pharlane, undoubted descendants of 
the old earls of Lennox. The clan takes its name from 
Parlane or Bartholomew, a great-grandson of Gilchrist, third 
son of Alain, earl of Lennox, and the steps of the pedigree 
rest upon charter evidence. Next to them were the Clan 
Gregor, on the east side of Lochlomond and around Loch 
Katrine. In Balquhidder we find the Clan Lahhran or 

porary bi'eak-up of the Clan Chattan Hustain, or Macdonalds of Sleat, is 
and Clan Cameron in 1429 that we when it was led by an nncle of the 
find captains of these clans ai)pear- chief, then in minority, who appears 
ing ; and when Hector Macintosh, as Captain of the Clan Hustain. 
bastard son of Ferquhard Macintosh, •> As in the Clan Cliattan, where 
who died in 1574, led the clan for a the Clan Vuireach, or old Clan Chat- 
time, he is termed in 1529 Captain tan, seldom recognised the authority 
of Clan Chattan. The first Captain of the captain ; and in the Clan- 
of Clanranald was Ian Mudortach, ranald, where the MaclJonells of 
the bastard son of a second son ; Glengarry held aloof, 
and the only time that this title ap- " Acts of Parliament, vol. iv. p. 
pears in connection with the Clan 71. 


Lauren, and in Atlioll the clan possessing the largest terri- 
tory was the Clan Donnuchie, whose descent from Duncan, 
son of Andrew de Atholia, likewise rests upon charter evi- 
dence, and whose name of De Atholia sufficiently indicates 
that they were the male representatives of the old earls of 
Atholl. With Glenshee and Glenisla is connected a clan 
called the Clan M'Thomas. Crossing the Mounth we find 
the Highland districts of Mar and Buchan occupied by the 
Clan Chattan, who lilcewise, with their branches and depend- 
ent septs, extended over Strathdearn, Strathnairn, and Bade- 
noch, into the district of Lochaber. In Eoss-shire were the 
Clan Andres or Eosses and the Clan Kenneth or Mackenzies, 
and in the Highland districts of Sutherland and Caithness, 
forming the north-west corner of Scotland, were the Clan 
Morgan or Mackays and the Clan Gunn, The clans which 
occupied the principal position in the great district of Argyll 
and the Isles were the different clans into which the descend- 
ants of the powerful Lords of the Isles and Knights of Argyll 
broke up on the termination of the main line. There were 
the Clann Duhligal or Macdougalls of Lome, descended from 
Dubhgal, the eldest son of Somerled ; the Clandonald de- 
scended from Domuall, son of Eegiuald or Eanald, his second 
son ; and this great sept was again broken up into six clans. 
These were the Clandonald north and south, that is, the Clan 
Hv.stain or MacDonalds of Slate, and the Clan Eoin Mor or 
MacConneUs of Isla and Kintyre, descended from Donald, 
eldest son of John, Lord of the Isles, by the king's daughter, 
and from Eoin Mor,his second son, respectively. From Eanald, 
son of Alaster, his third son, sprang the Clanranald of Locha- 
ber, or Macdonalds of Keppoch. From Eoin Sprangaigh and 
Alaster Og, sons of Angus Mor, came the Clan Ian or Mac- 
lans of Ardnamurchan, and the Clan Alaster or MacAlasters 
of Loup in Kintyre. The most important clans after the Mac- 
donalds were, in Argyll, the Clan O'Duibhn or Campbells, 


whose original seat was the district of Lochow and Ardskeod- 
nich, and who succeeded to their power. In the Isles the Clan 
Leod or Macleods of Dunvegan and Glenelg, and those of 
Lewis, descended from two brothers, were the most powerful ; 
and next them the Clan Gillcoin or Macleans of Dowart and 
Lochbowie, and the Clan Ncill or Macneills of Gigha and of 
Barra, and here we see the oldest cadets occupying quite as 
prominent a position as the main line. The other clans of 
Argyll and the Isles were, in Cowall, the Clan Lachlan, and 
the Clan Ladmann or Lamont, and between Loch Fine and 
Lochow the Clan Neachtan or MacNaughtons ; while Glen- 
orchy was the original seat of the Clan Gregor, and in Loch- 
aber the Clancliamron, or Camerons of Lochiel, had their 
home. In Lochaber and Colonsay were the Clan DuhhsitM 
or Macduffies, and in Mull and Skye the Clan Fingaine or 
Mackinnons and the Clan Guairc or Macquarries. 

This word Clann signifies simply children or descendants. Meaning of 

111 1-T11 1 p- Clann, and 

and the clan name thus implies that the members oi it are the per- 
or were supposed to be descended from a common ancestor names 
or eponymus, and they were distinguished from each other t|°™patro- 
by their patronymics, the use of surnames in the proper Ver^taken. 
sense of the term being unknown among them. These 
patronymics, in the case of the Ccanncind or chief and the 
Ceanntighs or heads of the smaller septs, indicated their 
descent from the founder of the race or sept ; those of the 
members of it who were of the kin of the chief or chieftain 
showed the personal relation ; while the commonalty of the 
clan simple used a derivative form of the name of the clan, 
implying merely that they belonged to it. This system is 
quaintly described by John Elder, clerk, in his letter to 
King Henry the Eighth in 1542 or 1543. He says — 'Now 
and pleas your excellent Majestic, the said people which 
inhabitede Scotland afore the incummyng of the said Alban- 
actus (as I have said), being valiant, stronge, and couragious. 


although they were savage and wilde, had strange names, as 
Morrdhow .i. Mordachus ; Gillicallum .i. Malcolmus ; Donyll 
.i. Donaldus, and so fourth. Then their sonnis followinge 
theame in manlieid and valianntnes, called theameselves 
after this manner of wyse, leaving their proper names un- 
expressede, Makconyll A. filius Donaldi ; Makgillecalliim A. 
tilius Malcolmi, etc., and so they have contenewide unto this 
daye.'^ Thus the head of the whole Clan Donald was simply 
Macdonald, the chief of the Clan Eanald of Glengarry, Mac- 
mkicalastair, the captain of Clan Eanald, MacmJiicalain, and 
one of the commonalty simply Domnaillach or a Macdonald. 
Besides the clans the statutes distinguish what they term 
surnames. There were in Lennox, Buchanans, M'Caiulis or 
Macaulays, and Galbraiths; Grahames in JMonteith; Stewarts 
in Atholl, Lome, and Balquhidder; Menzieses, Fergusons, 
Spaldings, and Macintoshes in Atholl; Farquharsons in 
Braemar ; MacPhersons in Strathnairn ; Grants in Strath- 
spey ; Frasers in the Aird ; Rosses and Monros in Ross ; and 
Neilsons in Sutherland. These surnames were of three 
kinds. There were first names which had a Gaelic form, as 
Macaulay and Macpherson ; or the English equivalent of a 
Gaelic form, as Farquharson, Ferguson, etc. ; secondly, those 
who had assumed a territorial name, or whose name bore 
that appearance, as the Buchanans, who likewise bore the 
name of Macaustelan, and took the former designation from 
their lands. Grants, Rosses, and Monroes ; and thirdly, those 
which were foreign names and of foreign descent, but who 
had become so assimilated to the Gaelic people as to be 
identified with them in language, custom, and spirit of clan- 
ship, as the Stewarts, Frasers, Menzieses, Spaldings, etc., who 
had been long settled in the Highlands. 

The system of nomenclature, therefore, which character- 
ised the clans and the surnames of Gaelic origin was one 

^ Collectanea de Rebus Alhanlcls, p. 27. 


entirely based upon the personal name, and was in no respect 
territorial ; but we find, on examination, that the personal 
names used by the Gaelic people were of different kinds, and 
constituted upon different principles. The earliest personal 
names used by the different branches of the Celtic people 
appear to have been formed in the same manner, and re- 
semble each other in their structure. On analysing those 
both of the Cymric and the Gaelic people, we can see that 
they are compounded of two monosyllables, a certain number 
of which is used to form the first half of the name and a 
different set of monosyllables annexed as a termination, and 
these are combined with each other in every variety of form. 
The initial syllables are more numerous than the terminal, 
and it will only be necessary to specify a few to illustrate the 
formation of these names. Thus in Welsh, Ael, Aer, Arth, 
Gad, and Cyn are common initial syllables ; and Teyrn, 
March, Gkvyr, and Gwys common terminations. These form 
in combination the names Aclgyvarch, Cadvarch, Gynvarch, 
Aerdeym, Gyndeyrn, Arthvjyl, Gynwys, etc. So in Gaelic 
Aen, Art, Con, Dim, Duhh, Fear, Fin, and Gorm are common 
initial syllables; and Gal^ and 6^ms, common terminations, 
and from them are formed Aengal, Artgal, Gongal, DungaJ, 
Duhhgal, Fcargal, Fingal, Gormgal, and Aengus, Gongus, Fcar- 
gus, etc. Similar forms existed among the Pictish names, as 
in Ungiist, Urgiist, Urgart, Dcrgart, Gartnaidh, etc. ; and be- 
sides the Pictish forms which are analogous to the Irish, we 
find such Pictish names as Neachtain, Fingainc, etc., occurring 
in the Highland Genealogies. 

The introduction of Christianity among these Gaelic tribes 
added another class of names to these older forms. These 
were formed by prefixing the words Maol, that is, bald in the 

'^ This syllable Gal must not be Fingall and Duhhgall, white and 
confounded, as is often done, with black foreigners, were applied to 
Gall, a stranger ; whence the names the Norwegians and Daues. 


sense of tonsured, and Giolla, or servant, first to the words 
losa or Jesus, Criosd or Christ, Faiclh the prophet, Easimig 
the bishop ; as in Maoliosa or Giolliosa, servant of Jesus, 
Maolanfhaidh or GillanfJiaidh, servant of the prophet, Giolla- 
chriosd, servant of Christ, and Gillcasjyuiff, servant of the 
bishop : and secondly, to the names of the founders and 
patron saints of the churches, as in Maolcoluim or Giolla- 
coluim, servant of St. Columba ; Maolhride or Giollahridc, 
servant of St. Bridget ; GioUachattan, servant of St. Cathan ; 
Gillanacmh, servant of the saints ; Giollaeoin, servant of St. 
John, etc. In these latter names, when combined with the 
word Clan or Mac, if they commence with a consonant, the 
prefix Giolla is usually omitted, as in Clanchattan, Mac- 
Callum, etc. ; but if they commence with a vowel, they form 
that numerous class of names in which Mac is followed by 
the letter L. Thus MacGioUaeoin becomes Maclean ; Mac- 
Giolla Adomnan, MacLennau, etc. The conquest of the 
Western Isles, and the frequent occupation of parts of the 
mainland by the Norwegians and Danes, and the intermar- 
riages between them, added to these forms, after the ninth 
century, Norwegian and Danish names, such as Godfred, 
Harald, Eagnall, Somarled, etc., which became Gofraidh, 
Aralt, Ranald, Somhairlc, in the Highland Genealogies. It 
must not, however, be overlooked that the Norwegians fre- 
quently gave to Gaelic names a Norwegian form significant 
in their own language, as Dungadr for Donnachaidh, Griot- 
gardr for Gi'egair, IMelkolfr for Maolcohiim, etc. 
Original In Considering the genealogies of the Highland clans we 

and°posi-^'^ must bear in mind that in the early state of the tribal organi- 
cian°pedi- satiou the pedigree of the sept or clan, and of each member 
grees. ^^ ^^yq tribe, had a very important meaning. Their rights 

were derived through the common ancestor, and their relation 
to him, and through him to each other, indicated their position 
in the succession, as well as their place in the allocation of 


the tribe land. In such a state of society the pedigree occu- 
pied the same position as the title-deed in the feudal system, 
and the Sennachies were as much the custodiers of the rights 
of families as the mere panegyrists of the clan. As long as 
the Gaelic tribes and the governing and dominant race were 
of the same lineage, and regulated by the same laws, this 
system must have remained unaltered ; but when the king- 
dom was formed by a combination of different races, and the 
influential class consisted of a feudal nobility, while the laws 
of the country were based upon feudal principles, the posi- 
tion of the Gaelic tribes must have been that of a people pos- 
sessing a customary law, and an unrecognised social system 
opposed to the law acted upon by the governing authority, 
and the latter must always have prevailed in the long-run. 
When the conflict of these laws in regulating succession, and 
the frequent insurrections of the Gaelic population, with the 
confiscations which followed upon them, led to the breaking 
up of the Gaelic tribes, and to the severance of those ties 
which bound the septs or clans which had been developed 
within the tribe to each other, the pedigree would cease to 
be of value as between clan and clan. The competition be- 
tween rival interests and rival races would lead to the grati- 
fication of vanity becoming the ruling ^iiotive, in order to 
maintain a quasi superiority, and likewise, when the exigencies 
of their position required it, to a falsification and imposture 
in order to enable the clans to maintain their ground in a 
field of competition regulated by feudal principles. The pedi- 
grees must then have been greatly influenced by those into 
competition with whom the clan families were thrown, and 
by the interests affected in consequence ; and when the govern- 
ing class belonged to a kindred but different race with a dif- 
ferent nationality and nomenclature, there must always have 
been a tendency to assimilate their own traditions to those 
of the ruling powers. Till the ninth century the Highland 


tribes and the ruling powers were of the same race. During 
the two succeeding centuries these tribes appear to have re- 
mained intact, while the dominating race and the clergy were 
of a kindred race though of a different name and nationality, 
and the name of Scotia became transferred from Ireland to 
Scotland. Feudalism then commenced, and spread over the 
country, and the reigns of the kings of the second Scottish 
dynasty from the accession of David the First to the death 
of Alexander the Third was the period of the breaking up 
of the tribes, and the complete establishment of the clan 
system ; and this likewise was the period of the manipulation 
of the Chronicles, and the gradual formation of that spurious 
system of national history which, originating in the ecclesi- 
astical pretensions of St. Andrews, was developed during the 
great controversy regarding the independence of Scotland, 
and based upon a Scottish nationality and the supposed 
colonisation of the country long before the Christian era by 
Scota and her Scottish descendants, till it was finally reduced 
to a system by John of Fordun. Its leading features w^ere 
the colonisation of the Highlands by Scots in the third cen- 
tury before Christ, their conversion in the second century by 
the relics of St. Andrew, the occupation of the mountain 
region of the north by the Picts entirely ignored, and that 
people relegated to the plains of the Lowlands, when they 
were finally exterminated by the Scots in the ninth century. 
First It is hardly to be expected that the clans should not have 

cianf edi- claimed their share in these legendary glories, or that they 
flue'nce o" s^ould have lost the wish to maintain a separate descent with 
lesendaiy ^-j^g rrradual disappearance of its tradition, and thus this new 

history ot » -^ ^ 

Scotland, ^nd preponderating influence would naturally produce the 
first great change in the clan pedigrees. This change is very 
clearly exposed in the remarkable letter already quoted of 
John Elder, clerk, a Eeddeshanke, to King Henry the Eighth. 
In that letter he thus gives the origin of ' the Yrische Lords 


of Scotland, commonly called the Eeddshanckes, and by 
historiographers, Picts.' ' Scotland,' he says, ' before the in- 
coming of Albanactus, Brutus's second sou, was inhabited, as 
we read in ancient Yrische stories, with giants and wild people, 
without order, civility, or manners, and speaks none other 
language but Yrishe, and was then called Eyryn veagg, that 
is to say. Little Irland, and the people were callit Eyrynghe, 
that is to say, Irland men. But after the incoming of Alba- 
nactus, in reducing them to order and civility they changed 
the foresaid name Eyryn veagg, and called it Albon, and their 
owne names also and called them Albonyghe ; which two 
Yrische wordes, Albon, that is to say Scotland, and Albonyghe, 
that is to say Scottish men, be derived from Albanactus, our 
first governor and king.' At the time John Elder wrote, 
Yrishe, afterwards corrupted into Erse, was currently used 
for Gaelic ; and deducting the nonsense about Eyryn veagg, 
which seems a fancy of his own, this is the legendary story 
contained in our earliest documents before the Chronicles 
were tampered with ; but then he gave in to say, 'which deri- 
vation the papistical cursed spirituality of Scotland will not 
hear in no manner of wise, nor confess that ever such a king, 
named Albanactus, reigned there. The which derivation all 
the Yrische men of Scotland, which be the ancient stock, 
cannot nor will not deny.' ' But our said bishops,' he adds, 
' deriveth Scotland and themselves from a certain lady named 
Scota, which came out of Egypt, a miraculous hot country, to 
recreate herself amongst them in the cold air of Scotland, 
which they cannot affirm by no probable ancient author.' ^"^ 

The clans, however, were soon after thrown into rapidly- Second 
increasing contact with those of Ireland, a people possessing influence 
similar pedigrees, and Sennachies surpassing those of Scotland senna- 
in information and acquirements. The native Sennachies by ^ "®''' 
degrees fell into the background, and the clans began to take 

'" Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 26, 27. 


their Sennachies from tlie rival race. The first connection 
between them which had this effect, was tlie marriage of 
Angus, Lord of the Isles, who assisted Bruce in his struggle 
for the crown, with the daughter of O'Kane, Lord of Fer- 
managh, and widow of the great O'Neill. During the two 
following centuries septs of the Highland clans were em- 
ployed as auxiliaries by the great northern Lords of Ireland, 
under the name of GaUoglach or foreign soldiers, commonly 
called Galloglasses. There is ample evidence that during 
this period a great proportion of the Highland Sennachies 
were Irish, and that all reverted to Ireland for instruction in 
their art. It could hardly have been otherwise than that, 
with the disappearance of the old Highland pedigrees, every 
presumption and analogy would have driven these Sennachies 
to the better-preserved Irish pedigrees, to replace what had 
been lost by connecting them more directly with the Irish 
tribes, and thus the second great change in the character of 
their pedigree would be produced. For the clan genealogies 
at this time we must therefore refer to the Irish Mss., and 
they are in fact the oldest pedigrees which have been pre- 
served. The j\rs. collections in which we find them are, 
first, the Book of Ballimote compiled in the year 1383, the 
Book of Lecain compiled in 1407, and a MS. belonging to 
the Faculty of Advocates bearing the date 1467, but the 
genealogies in which are obviously derived from the same 
source as those in tlie Book of Ballimote.^^ To these may 
be added a few genealogies in other mss., and those pre- 
served by MacVurich in the Book of Clan Eanald. 
Analysis ot In these mss. we find detailed pedigrees of most of the 
Pedigrees, clans enumerated in the Acts of Parliament of 1587 and 1594, 
and of several clans not there mentioned, as well as of some 

^' The genealogy of the Clan in place of making him, as he was, 
Dubhgal in the Book of Ballimote son of Somairle and brother of Rag- 
has the mistake of making Dubhgal nail ; and the same mistake dccnrs 
tlie son of Ragnall son of Somairle, in the ms. of 1467. 


of the surnames. The later portion of these pedigrees, as far 
back as the eponymus or common ancestor from which the 
clan takes its name, are in general tolerably well vouched, 
and may be held to be authentic. The older part of the 
pedigree will be found to be partly historical and partly 
mythic. So far as these links in the genealogic chain con- 
nect the clans with each other within what may be termed 
the historic period, the pedigree may be genuine ; but the 
links which connect them with the mythic genealogies of the 
elaborate system of early Irish history, when analysed, prove 
to be entirely artificial and untrustworthy. In examining 
the nature of these pedigrees it will be convenient to group 
them according to their supposed connection with the 
legendary races of early Irish history.^' 

The lirst group consists of the Clan CalUn or Campbells, 
and the Clan Leod or MacLeods, who are brought from a 
mythic personage, viz., Fergus Leith Berg, son of Nemedh, 
who led a colony of Nemedians from Ireland to Scotland. 
This Nemedian colony belongs to the older legendary history 
of Scotland before the Chronicles were corrupted, and may 
therefore indicate these clans as forming part of the older 
inhabitants of the districts they occupy. On examining the 
genealogy of the Campbells we may consider it as authentic 
as far back as Duncan, son of Gilleaspic, son of Gillacolum, 
son of Duibne, who is certainly the Duncan M'Duibhn 
mentioned in one of the Argyll charters as possessing 
Lochow and Ardskeodnich, and who was contemporary with 
Alexander the Second. As the Campbells were undoubtedly 
known in Gaelic as the Clan 0' Duibne}"^ the genealogy as far 
back as that eponymus of the race is probably authentic ; 
but as soon as we pass that link we find ourselves in contact 

^" The genealogies contained in '■■ Piesident Forbes, in his Memo- 

these M.SS. -will be found thus rial states that the Campbells were 
grouped in the Appendix, No. vni. in Gaelic, Clan Guin or O'Duine. 


with Arthur and Uthyr Pendragon, and the other heroes of 
the Arthurian legend. With the Macleods we cannot pro- 
ceed so far back, as Leod, the eponymus of the^lau, cannot 
be placed earlier than the middle of the thirteenth century ; 
and as soon as we pass these links in the chain of his 
pedigree, which have Gaelic names, we plunge into a con- 
fused list of names, partly Gaelic and partly of Norwegian 
and Danish kings of the Isles, with which they are mixed 
up, till we reach the mythic Fergus Leith Berg, whose 
grandson bears the Norwegian name of Arailt or Harald, 
centuries before the Norwegians made their appearance in 
the Isles. The earlier portion then of these two genealogies 
is obviously artificial. 

The next group consists of the supposed descendants of 
Colla Uais, son of Eochaidh Doimlein, king of Ireland, and 
comprised the clans descended from Somerled, the petty king 
of the great district of Argyll in the reign of Malcolm the 
Fourth. These genealogies, as far back as their great ancestor 
Somerled, are undoubtedly authentic. His father Gillahride, 
and his grandfather Gillaadomnan, both purely Gaelic forms, 
rest on the authority of the Irish Annals, and Imergi, the 
grandfather of the latter, is probably the Jehmarc, who 
appears as a Celtic petty king in the year 1031. Beyond 
this we have no fixed date, but between him and Colla Uais, 
whose death is placed at 323, we have only seven names 
given for a period of 700 years, or one hundred years to a 
generation, which is impossible, and betrays the artificial 
character of this part of the pedigree. 

The third group consists of clans supposed to be de- 
scended from the Hy Neill or race of Ncill naoi giallach, 
king of Ireland, which brings us nearer historical times. 
They consist of the Lamonds, the Clan Lachlan, the Mac- 
Evvens of Otter, and a Clan Somairh which has not been 
identified. These clans are all taken back to a certain 


Aoda Alain, termed Buirclic, son of Anrotan, son of Aodha 
Atlamuin, ancestors of the O'Neills. From Aoda's son Gilla- 
crist the Clan Lachlan came, and from another son Duinsleibe 
the Lamonds, MacEwens, and Clan Somairle. The genea- 
logy of the Lamonds is authentic as far back as Fearchar, 
the son of Duinsleibe, but Ferchar's son and grandson are 
mentioned in a charter in 1246,^* while the death of Aodha 
Alain is recorded in 1047, and thus only three generations 
are placed in two centuries. This derivation too involves 
the difficulty of supposing that Cowall was peopled from 
Ireland in the eleventh century, a colony of which there is 
not a trace in history ; but as these clans are locally grouped 
together we may accept the genealogies as indicating that 
they had a common origin. 

The fourth group consists of the old earls of Lennox and 
Mar, said to be descended from Maine Leamna and Cairhre 
Cruithneach, sons of Core, son of Liighaigh, king of Munster ; 
but the artificial character of this descent is here very 
apparent, for Ailin, the first earl of Lennox, M'ho lived in 
the beginning of the thirteenth century, is made the great- 
grandson oi Maine Leamna, whose father was a contemporary 
of Saint Patrick in the fifth century. 

The rest of the Highland clans, whose genealogies are to 
be found in the Irish mss., are all brought from the Dalriadic 
Scots. These clans are mainly connected with the province 
of Moray and Ross, and thus we have the great anomaly 
presented to us that the clans forming the great bulk of the 
inhabitants of Argyll and the Isles — such as the Campbells 
and Macleods, the great race of the Macdougalls of Lorn, 
and the Macdonalds of the Isles and Kintyre, and the Mac- 
Lachlans and Lamonds of Cowall — are not connected by 

^* Charter ' Duncanus filius Fei- of Kilmor inter 1230 et 1246. — 

char et Laumannus filius Malcolmi Chartulary of Paisley, p. 132; con- 

nepos ejusdem Duncani' to the firmed by Angus, son of Duncan, 

monastery of Paisley, of the lands in 1270. 

342 Tin-; clans and their genealogies. [book irr. 

their genealogies with the JJcah'iadic colony, but this origin is 
reserved for tlie more eastern clans of the central Highlands. 
There is too the further anomaly that these clans are not 
deduced from the tribe of Gabhran, which furnished kings to 
Dalriada, and from which the Scottish dynasty founded by 
Kenneth IMacAlpin probably sprang, but from the tribe of 
Lorn, which furnished two kings only to Dalriada, and only 
came to the front to be immediately annihilated by the 
rictish monarch in 736, and then disappear entirely from 
history. The links in the chain of ancestry which connect 
these clans with the tribe of Lorn, however, present the 
same features of artificial construction which characterise 
the other. In examining these we must group them in four 
classes. First, those brought from Fearchar Facia, king of 
Dalriada, of the tribe of Lorn, who died in 697. These are 
first the Mormaers of Moray, This genealogy is probably 
correct enough up to Kuadhri, who is made son of Airceallach, 
son of Ferchar; but allowing the usual average of thirty 
years to a generation, Ruadhri flourished about the year 840, 
that is, was contemporary with Kenneth MacAlpin, while 
the death of his supposed father Airceallach, by whom Ainbh- 
cellach is probably meant, is recorded in 719. Then follows 
the genealogy of the MacNaughtons, whose eponymus Neach- 
tain Mor is made the son of Domnall Duinn, son of Fearchar 
Fada ; but Neachtain Mor cannot be placed earlier than the 
beginning of the ninth century, and he too must have been 
contemporary with Kenneth MacAlpin, while his supposed 
grandfather died in 697. This is followed by the genealogy 
of the Clan Chattan, and here the anomaly is still greater, 
for GillacJiattan, the eponymus of the race, must have flour- 
ished in the eleventh century, but between him and Fearchar 
Fada are only four links during three centuries and a half. 
Of these links the father Gallbrait and the grandfather 
Diarmada, called the Feaiievjlvinn or Lector, are probably 


historical. Along with these the Clan Cameron are placed, 
though their genealogy does not show the connection with 
the Dalriads. They were undoubtedly a kindred tribe with 
the Clan Chattan. 

The next group is connected with a Fearchar Abraruadh 
son of Feradach Finn, and therefore a brother of Fearchar 
Fada, but unknown to history, and the only genealogy pre- 
served is that of the Clan Gillaeoin or Macleans. This genea- 
logy is given with so much minuteness up to a certain Sean 
Dubhgcd Sgoinne, or Old Dugald of Scone, and the ecclesi- 
astical character of the upper links are so obvious, that it is 
difficult to avoid regarding it as so far trustworthy. This 
Dubhgal has a son Eaingce ; and he has three sons — Cud- 
uilig, abbot of Leasamor, that is, lay abbot of the monastery 
of Lismore in Argyllshire, from whom descended Gillaeoin, 
the eponymus of the clan ; Cuchatha, from whom sprang the 
Clan ChoncJiatha, in the district of Lennox, by whom possibly 
the Colquhouns are meant ; and Cusithc, from whom came 
the Clan Gonsithe of Fife, which has not been identified. 
According to the usual calculation, old Dugald of Scone 
must have flourished about 1100, and in a perambulation of 
the lands of Kyrknesse and Lochow, in the district of Fort- 
renn, not long after that date, we find the arbiters were 
Constantine earl of Fife, Magnus Judex or Mormaer in Scot- 
land, Dufgal, son of Mocche, who was aged, just, and vener- 
able (sencx, Justus, ct vcnerahilis), and Meldoinneth son of 
Machedath, a good and discreet judge {judex homis et discre- 
tus)}^ It can hardly be doubted that this Dufgal senex is 
the Sean Dubhgal of Scone of the pedigree, but in that genea- 
logy he is made the son not of Mocche but of Fearchar 
Abraruadh, who must be placed four centuries earlier. 

The next group is brought from Domnaill Duinn, son 
of Fearadhach Finn, and consists of the Clan Labliran, or 
^^ Chart, of St. Andreios, p. 117. 


Maclarens, and the Clan Aidli. Tlie Clan Labhran are 
deduced from an abbot of Aclitus, by which no doubt Ach- 
tow in Balquhidder, where this clan had its seat, is meant, 
and his pedigree is deduced from Domnall Og, son of 
Domnall Duinn. According to the usual computation, 
Domnall Oig must be placed in the ninth century, thus con- 
temporary with Kenneth MacAlpin, while his father is made 
brother of Fearchar Fada, who died in 697. The same re- 
mark applies to the genealogy of the clan Aidh. They cannot 
be identified with any modern clan, l)ut a Gillamithil, son of 
Aidh, the eponynms of the clan, falls about the same time 
with Gillemychel M'Ath, father of Duncan, who, in 1232, ex- 
cambs a davach of land in Strathardel, called Petcarene, 
with the bishop of Moray for the lands of Dolays Michel in 

The remaininfj genealogies in these MSS. have one com- 
mon feature, that the genealogy of each of the clans contains 
in it the name of Cormac, son of Airbertach, but he is 
differently connected with the line of Lorn, and is placed in 
many of the genealogies at a different period. They may be 
thus grouped. The first consists of the Clan Andres or Rosses, 
the Clan Cainig or Mackenzies, and the Clan Matgamma or 
Mathesons. These are all brought from a common ancestor, 
Gilleoi7i na hairde or Gilleon of the Aird, by which, no doubt, 
the mountainous region in the centre of Eoss-shire, the old 
name of which was Airdross, or the Aird of Eoss, is meant. 
The Eosses and Mathesons are brought from his son Cristin, 
and the Mackenzies from another son, Gilleon Og, father of 
Cainig or Kenneth, the eponymus of the clan. Gilleon na 
hAirde is made grandson of Loarn, son of Fearchar, son of 
Cormac mac Airbertach, and the usual calculation would 
place Cormac in the tenth century ; but his father Airber- 
tach is made son of Feradach, and brother of Fearchar Fada, 

'« Charf. of Moray, p. 87. 


who died in 697. To this group may be added the Clan 
Duihsithc or Macduffys of Lochaber and Colonsay, who are 
bronoht from Fearchar, son of Cormac ; but the connecting 
links are shorter and bring him down to two centuries later. 
The Macnabs are likewise brought from Loarn, son of Fear- 
char, son of Cormac, which would relegate him also to the 
tenth century ; but in this genealogy, instead of placing 
Cormac in immediate connection with Fearadach, he is made 
son of Ere, son of Domnaill Duinn, son of Fearchar Abra- 
ruadh, thus corresponding more with the early part of the 
genealogy of the Clan Labhran and Clan Aidh. The Clan 
Gregor is likewise brought from Cormac by a son Ainnrias 
or Andrew, and by this genealogy he is placed in the twelfth 
century, and is made son of Fearchar Oig, son of Fearchar 
Fada, who died in 697. The last group consists of the Clan 
Guairc or Macquarrys, the Clan Fingainc or ]\Iackinnons, 
the Clan Gillamhaol or Macmillans, and the Clan Gillaagam- 
nan or Maclennans, descended respectively from four sons 
of Cormac — Guaire, Fingaine, Gillcrist called Gillamhaol, 
and Gillaagamnan. By these genealogies Cormac is brought 
down a century later, and this is probably his true date, and 
as an ancestor of these clans he is also probably an historical 
personage, for in the genealogy of the Clan Gillamhaol it is 
added that his father Airbertach possessed twelve tribes or 
septs (Treahh) among the Norwegians — viz., in Greagraidhe 
of the warriors, commonly called Mull, and in Tiree, and in 
Craohhinis, by which lona is meant, while it is in Mull and 
the neighbouring islands that the Maclennans and Mac- 
quarrys had their possessions ; but in these genealogies 
Airbertach is made son of Murcertach, son of Fearchar Og, 
and between the latter and Fearchar Fada, the names of 
Macbeth and his father Finnlaoch, which really belong to 
the genealogy of the Mormaers of Moray, are introduced. 
It is thus obvious how artificial the earlier links of these 


Aiiiticiai ^feiieulogies are, and that none of them can in fact be pushed 
ot'tiiese further back than the reign of Kenneth MacAlpiu, the oldest 
pei igitcs. j-^^j, ^j^ iimny of them being contemporary with him, while 
others fall short of that period. Between the oldest link of 
those which reach that date and the Dalriadic king of the 
race of Lorn with which they are connected there is a com- 
plete blank, and it is thus plain that the same process of 
manipulation and artificial construction had taken place with 
these pedigrees, which had perverted the genealogy of the 
kings of the line of Kenneth MacAlpin. In the latter case 
an entire century, with all its events, from 740 to 840, had 
been suppressed, and Kenneth, the founder of the new dynasty 
in the ninth century, directly connected with the last of the 
old kings of Dalriada, of the race of Gabhran, who lived a 
century earlier. In like manner the genealogies of the clans 
which reach only to the ninth century, were directly con- 
nected with the last of the Dalriadic kings of the line of Lorn, 
who died in 697. It is not without some significance too 
that we find such Pictish forms as Neachtain, Fingaine, Mor- 
gainn, etc., occurring in the early part of these pedigrees. 
They may then be regarded as trustworthy only in so far as 
they show the links of the descent of each clan from its 
eponymus as believed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
and the grouping of certain clans together where a common 
ancestor within the historic period is assigned to them. 

During the sixteenth century the clans were brought into 
Third direct contact with the Crown, and in the latter part of it 
Influence serious cfforts were made by the Legislature to establish an 

of Act 

of 1597. efficient control over them. These gave rise to the Acts of 
1587 and 1594, already referred to; but they were followed 
in a few years by an important Statute, which had a power- 
ful effect upon the position of the clans, and led to another 
great change in the theory of their descent. In the Parlia- 
ment held at Edinburgh in December 1597, an Act was 


passed bearing the short but most pregnant title ' That the 
inhabitants of the His and Hielandis shaw their haldin<][s.' 
This Act proceeds on the narrative ' that the inhabitants of 
the Highlands and Isles of this realm, which are for the most 
part of his Highness's annexed property has not only frus- 
trated his Majesty of the yearly payment of his proper rents 
and due service addebted by them to his Majesty furth of the 
said lands, but that they have likewise through their bar- 
barous inhumanity made and presently makes the said High- 
lands and Isles, which are most commodious in themselves 
as well by the fertility of the ground as by rich fishings, be so 
altogether unprofitable both to themselves and to all others 
his Highness's lieges within this realm, they neither intertein- 
ing any civil or honest society amongst themselves neither 
yet admitted others his Highness's lieges to traffic within 
their bounds with safety of their lives and goods ; ' and in 
order that they 'may the better be reduced to ane godly 
honest and civil manner of living It is statute and ordained 
that all landlords chieftains and leaders of clans, principal 
householders, heritors and others possessors or pretending 
right to any lands within the Highlands and Isles shall be- 
twixt this and the fifteenth day of j\lay next to come compear 
before the Lords of his Highness's Exchequer at Edinburgh 
or where it shall happen to sit for the time and there bring 
and produce with them all their infeftments rights and titles 
whatsomever whereby they claim right and title to any part 
of the lands and fishings within the bounds foresaid, and 
then find sufficient caution acted in the books of Exchequer 
for yearly and thankful payment to his Majesty of his rents 
yearly duties and service addedit by them furth of the lands 
possessed and occupied by them or any in their names and 
that they themselves their men, tenants, servants, and de- 
pendants shall be answerable to his Highness's laws and 
Justices.' The penalty imposed upon them in case of their 


failure to appear and find cautiuii was, that they were ' to 
forfeit amit and tyne (lose) all pretended infeftmeuts and 
other right and title tliey have or may pretend to liave to 
any lands whatever they have holden or pretend to liold of 
his ]\Iajesty either in property or superiority which their 
pretended infeftments and titles thereof in case of failure are 
now as then and then as now declared by this present 
Parliament to be null and of no avail force or effect in 
themselves.'^'' It has been necessary to quote this Act at 
some length, in order to show what a powerful weapon it 
placed in the hands of the Crown, and the embarrassing and 
precarious position in which it placed the greater proportion 
of the clans. Many of them had received charters of their 
lands which had perished during the troubles and conflicts 
which had followed the forfeiture of the Lords of the Isles. 
Others had no other right to their lands than what was 
derived from the forfeited lords. In other cases, where the 
right to the clan demesne was the subject of dispute between 
different septs, both parties had received at different times a 
quasi-title to them. In many cases tlie nominal superiority 
was feudally vested in an alien family, while the land was 
actually possessed by one of the clans ; and in many others 
they had no title but immemorial possession, w^hich they 
maintained by the sword; while, on the other hand, those who 
already possessed a nominal right to the lands under feudal 
titles which they had been unable to enforce, or who saw a 
great prospect, through tlie threatened forfeitures, of acquiring 
possessions in the Highlands and Isles, would eagerly avail 
themselves of the opportunity afforded them by this Statute. 
The chiefs of the clans thus found themselves compelled to 
defend their rights upon grounds which could compete with 
the claims of their eager opponents, and to maintain an 
equality of rank and prestige with tliem in the Heralds' Office, 
'" Acts of Parliament, voL iv. p. 188. 


which must drive them to every device necessary to effect 
their purpose ; aud they would not hesitate to manufacture 
titles to the land when they did not exist, and to put for- 
ward spurious pedigrees better calculated to maintain their 
position when a native descent had lost its value and was 
too weak to serve their purpose. 

From this period manuscript histories of the leading sp„vious 
Highland families began to be compiled, in which these Pedigrees, 
pretensions were advanced and spurious charters inserted, 
and from these manuscript histories were compiled the later 
account of the clans contained in the Peerage and Baronage, 
as well as in the ' Inquiry and the Genealogy and Present 
State of the Ancient Scottish Surnames, with the Origin and 
Descent of the Highland Clans and Family of Buchanan, by 
William Buchanan of Auchmar,' published in the year 1723. 
The form which these pretentious genealogies took was that 
of making the efonymus or male ancestor of the clan a Nor- 
wegian, Dane, or Norman, or a cadet of some distinguished 
family, who succeeded to the chiefship and to the territory of 
the clan by marriage with the daughter and heiress of the 
last of the old Celtic line, thus combining the advantage of a 
descent which could compete with that of the great Norman 
families with a feudal succession to their lands ; and the new 
form of the clan genealogy would have the greater tendency 
to assume this form where the clan name was derived not 
from a personal name or patronymic but from a personal 
epithet of its founder. Thus Hacken, a Norwegian, was said 
from his prowess to have been termed Grandt, or great, and 
his grandson Aulan, or Allan Grandt, marries Mora, daugh- 
ter and heiress of Neil Macgregor, a descendant of Gregory 
the Great, king of Scotland, with whom he obtains the barony 
of Bellachastell and Freuchie in Strathspey, the patrimony 
of the Grants; Camhro, a Dane,^® in the beginning of the reign 
^^ Manuscript Hist, of the Grants. 

350 tup: clans and their oknealogies. [book m. 

of Alexander the Second, marries tlie daughter and heiress 
of Mac^Iartin, proprietor of that part of Lochaber now pos- 
sessed by Lochiel, chief of the Camerons ;^^ Colin Fitzgerald, 
son to the earl of Kildare in Ireland, marries the daughter 
and heiress of Kenneth IMatheson, from whom his son 
Kenneth was called Machenndh or Mackenzie, and obtained 
with her the lands of Kintail \-^ Angus Macintosh, descended 
from Shaw Macduff, a second son of the earl of Fife, marries 
Eva, daughter and heiress of Gilpatrick, son of Dougal Dall, 
chief of the Clan Chattan, and obtained with her the lands 
of Glenluy and Locharkaig ; -^ and even the powerful family 
of the Campbells, who had always supported the Crown, and 
whose chief had been created earl of Argyll, caught the 
infection, and now asserted that Malcolm, son of Duibhne, 
the eponymus of the clan, had gone to Normandy, and there 
married the daughter and heiress of the Norman family of 
De Campobello, and took the name, which was corrupted 
into Campbell, and his son marries the inevitable Eva, 
daughter of Paul MacDuibhne, the last of the old line.-- 

The foundation of the Grant story seems merely to be 
that the earliest Grant known was Gregory le Grant, whose 
sons Laurence and Eobert called Grant {didi Gh-ant) witness 
an agreement between the bishop of Moray and John Bisset 
in 1258. The name Grant is obviously a personal epithet, 
and may as well be derived from the Gaelic Grannda, ill- 
favoured, as from the Latin Grandis, or any other foreign 
word which resembles it. 

The Clan Chameron, as we have seen, formed originally 
one tribe with the Clan Chattan, and their true ancestor in 
the early part of the reign of Alexander the Second can be 

'" IJuchanaii of Auohmar's In- Takx, vol. iii. p. ,S7. Mr. Campbell, 

(piiry. however, erroneously translates the 

'-" MS. Hist, of M'Kenzies. name of Diiinihn as Brown. The 

'-' MS. Hist, of M'Intoshes. woi-d has no connection whatever 

-- MS. Histories of the family. with the Gaelic Donn, which sigiii- 

See also Campbell's Wt-it Hk//ih)id ties lirowii. 


ascertained, for the Irish mss. deduce their descent from a 
certain Gilh'oid, son of Gillamartan, to whom a line of 
Celtic progenitors is given, and he seems to be the same 
person with the Gillroth who, according to Fordun, was the 
chief supporter of Gillespie Macohegan, of the line of Mac- 
William, who raised an insurrection in 1222, as a charter 
of lands in Galloway, about the same period, is witnessed 
by Gillespie Macohegan and Gilleroth son of Gillemartan.^^ 

But the most remarkable of these spurious origins is that 
claimed by the Mackenzies. It appears to have been first put 
forward by Sir George Mackenzie, first Earl of Cromarty, who 
wrote an account of the family in the form of a letter, and 
afterwards a shorter account under the title of 'The Genealogie 
of the Mackenzies preceding the year 1661, written in the year 
1669 by a persone of qualitie,'-^ of which there is no doubt 
he was the author. The story, as told by him in the first 
account, is this : — ' Tradition informs us that our first was a 
sone of the earl of Kil dare's, who came to Scotland in King 
Alexander the Third's time, called Coline Gerald, fought on 
the side of the Scots at the battle of Largs ;' but finding that 
there was no earl of Kildare till 1290, he corrects it by 
making him son of John Fitz-Thomas, chief of the Geraldines 
in Ireland, and father of John, first earl of Kildare, who was 
slain in 1261. But in the second account, two sons of John 
Fitz-Thomas, Colin and Galen, fled to Scotland, were graci- 
ously received by Alexander the Third, and the next year 
fought at the battle of Largs. After the battle Walter Stewart 
was sent with forces to reduce the Isles, and builds a fort in 
Kintail, called the Danting Isle, in which Colin Fitzgerald 
is placed with a garrison. He then marries the daughter of 
Kenneth MacMalion or Matheson, with whom he sets one-half 

-•' Chartiilarij of Melrose, vol. i. Earla of Cromar/ie, vol. ii. p. 4(i2. 

P- 172. The second account was priute<l 

-^ The first account has been some years ago. 
printed by Mr. W . Fraser in his 


of Kintail, the other half belonging to the earl of Ross, and 
has a son Kenneth, from whom his descendants were called 
M'Channichcs, taking their patronymic from the M'Mahou 
rather than from Colin, whom they esteemed a stranger. In 
support of this story two documents are quoted. First, a 
fragment of the records of Icolmkill, which he says were 
preserved by him, and mention the principal actors in the 
battle of Largs, among whom is ' a stranger and Irishman of 
the family of the Geraldines, who, driven from Ireland, was 
in the following year graciously received by the king, remained 
at his court, and valiantly fought in the foresaid battle, and 
afterwards fought against the Islesmen, and was left among 
them in garrison.' -^ The other is a charter by King Alexander, 
granting, for faithful service rendered by Colin the Irishman 
{fer Colimim Hylernum) to the said Colin the whole lands 
of Kintail as a barony. This charter bears to be granted in 
the sixteenth year of his reign, before the following wit- 
nesses—Archibald, bishop of Moray ; Walter Stewart ; Henry 
de Balioth, chamberlain ; Arnold de Campan ; and Thomas 
Hostiarius, sheriff of Inverness.-*^ The same mistake is here 
committed, as is usual in manufacturing these pedigree 
charters, by making it a crown charter erecting the lands 
into a barony. Kintail could not have been a barony at 

25 Peregriuus et Hybernus uobilis per Colinum Hybenium, tarn in 

exfamiliaGeraldmorum, qui proxi- bello quam in pace, ideo dedisse et 

mo anno ab Hybernia pulsus apud hac presenti carta mea concessisse 

Regem benigne acceptus, huiusque dicto Colino et ejus successoribus, 

in curia permansit, et in proefato totas terras de Kintaile ; Tenendas 

praslio strenue pugnavit. De quo de nobis et successoribus nostris 

supra in prcelio ad Largos, qui pos- in liberam baroniam cum guardia : 

tea se fortiter contra Insulanos ges- Reddendo servicium forinsecum et 

sit, et ibi inter eos in presidium fidelitatem. Testibus Andrea epis- 

relictus. copo Moraviensi, Waltero Stewart, 

-^ Alexander Dei gracia rex Scot- Henrico de Balioth, camerario, Ar- 

torum omnibus probis hominibus noldo de Campania, Thoma Hostia- 

tocius terre sue clericis et laicis rio, vicecomite de Invernes. Apud 

salutem. Sciant presentis et futuri Kincardine, ix. die .Januarii anno 

me pro fideli servicio michi navato regni domini regis xvi. 


that time, and the earl of Eoss and not the king was superior, 
for in 1342 the earl of Boss grants the ten davachs of the 
lands of Kintail to Eeginald, son of Eoderick of the Isles ; ^^ 
and we find that the Mackenzies held their lands of the 
earl of Eoss, and afterwards of the duke of Eoss till 1508,^8 
when they were all erected into a barony by King James 
the Fourth, who gave them a crown charter. An examina- 
tion of the witnesses, too, usually detects these spurious 
charters, and in this case it is conclusive against the charter. 
Andrew was bishop of Moray from 1223 to 1242, and there 
was no bishop of that name in the reign of Alexander the 
Third. Henry de Baliol was chamberlain in the reign of 
Alexander the Second, and not of Alexander the Third. 
Thomas Hostiarius belongs to the same reign, and had been 
succeeded by his son Alan long before the date of this char- 
ter. The names of the witnesses seem to have been taken 
from some charter of Alexander the Second, which may have 
been granted in the sixteenth year of his reign. It may be 
said that this was a genuine charter of Alexander the Second, 
and that Colin Fitzgerald may have come over in his reign ; 
but then what becomes of the fragment of the Chronicle of 
Icolmkill, which clearly connects him with the battle of 
Largs ? The two must stand or fall together, and the evi- 
dence of the construction of a false legend is too palpable to 
be disputed.-^ The earl of Cromarty refers to tradition ; but 
if not the actual inventor of the story, it must have taken 

^ Robei'tsoii's Index, p. 100. Irish ms. of 1467, containing the 
-** Two other charters, said to be earlier genealogy, to be ' quite fabu- 
granted by David ii. in 1360 and lous. ' As Mr. Fraser never saw 
Robert iii. in 1380, are equally sus- the m.s. in question, and probably 
picious. does not include among his require- 
'^ Notwithstanding of this, it has nients a knowledge of Irish mss., 
found a defender in Mr. W. Fraser, his opinion is not entitled to much 
who, in his Earh of Gromartie, not weight. The ms. does not, how- 
only maintains the genuineness of ever, stand alone, 
both documents, but declares the 



its rise not very long before, for no trace of it is to be found 
in the Irish MSS., the history of the Geraldine family knows 
nothing of it,^^ and MacVureach, who must have been ac- 
quainted with the popular history of the western clans, was 
equally unacquainted with it. We have seen that in the 
second edition of the story the earl gives Colin a Ijrother 
Galen, and he is claimed by the Macleans as their ancestor, 
who likewise superseded their older traditionary history by 
a Fitzgerald origin ; but we can trace how this arose, and it 
will illustrate how these later forms of the clan origins were 
constructed. In the Irish mss. the Mackenzies and Macleans 
have quite a different origin assigned to them, and there is 
no apparent connection between them. The Mackenzies are 
brought from a certain Gilleon Og, son of Gilleon na hairde, 
but in the genealogies of the Macleans there occurs at a later 
period a Gilleon, whose pedigree is quite different. In a later 
form of the genealogy, however, preserved by MacVureacli, 
the two Gilleons have been identified, and a new genealogy 
manufactured from those of the two clans. The pedigrees of 
the Mackenzies and Mathesons are combined till they reach 
Gilleon na hairde, and they then merge into that of the 
Macleans. The Mackenzies and Macleans are thus brought 
from two brothers, and when the Mackenzies adopted the 
Fitzgerald origin the Macleans naturally followed suit. 

The earl, not content with putting forward this spurious 
pedigree of his own clan, showed his talent for constructing 
new pedigrees in the case of the Macleods, whom he took 
under his protection in consequence of the acquisition by 
the Mackenzies of the island of Lewis, tlie patrimony of one 
of the two great branches of that powerful clan. Their pedi- 
gree, as shown in the Irish mss., had already been tampered 

^^ In 1638 a history of the two have attracted the Earl to this 

Oeraldine families — viz., the Earls family, but there is no trace in it 

of Desmond and Kildare— was com- of Colin Fitzgerald, 
piled by a Dr. Russell, which may 


with, for in a MS. history of the Eosses of Bahiagown, written 
prior to the Cromarty MS., it is stated that three sons of the 
king of Denmark, called Giuinc, Loid, and Leandres, came out 
of Denmark and landed in the north of Scotland. ' Gioine 
conquest the Hieland brayes of Cathness ; Zoid. conquest the 
Lewis, of whom M'Loid is descended; Leandres conquest Bray- 
chat be the sworde.' By the Gioine here mentioned the an- 
cestor of the Clan Gunn seems to be meant, and Leandres is 
obviously the Gilleandres from whom the Clan Andres, or 
old Eosses, took their name. This derivation of the Macleods 
did not satisfy the ingenious earl, and after narrating the 
history of the Norwegian kings of Mann and the Isles, taken 
entirely from the Chronicle of Mann, he adds that Harald, the 
son of Godred Don, who usurped the kingdom in 1249, and 
was arrested by the king of Norway when attending his court 
and detained there, was succeeded by Leodus, his only son, 
who married Adama, daughter to Ferquhar, earl of Eoss, and 
by her had Torkell and Tormoth, who founded the families 
of Lewis and Harris.^^ Of this there is, however, not one 
word in the Chronicle, which knows nothing of Harald after 
his imprisonment in Norway. This is the first appearance 
of the supposed descent of the Macleods from the Norwegian 
Ivings of Mann, of which the ingenious earl was no doubt the 
author, if he was not also the inventor of the Fitzgerald story; 
but it is again improved upon by the account furnished to 
Douglas for his Baronage, where Harald is given up, and 
Olave the Black, king of Maun, who died in 1237, and whose 
second wife was Christina, daughter of Ferquhard, earl of 
Eoss, is substituted, and said to have had by her three sons 
— ' Lcod, the undoubted progenitor of the Clan Macleod ; 
Giiin, of whom the Clan Gunn in Sutherland are descended ; 
and Leandres, of whom the Clan Leandres in Eoss-shire ; ' 
but the Chronicle which mentions his marriage knows 

^1 Earh of Cromartie, vol. ii. p. 509. 


nothing of these sons, and this filiation must be regarded 
as equally spurious with the other. -^^ It is probable, how- 
ever, that we have a fragment of the true pedigree of the 
Macleods in one of the Irish MSS., which places Leod in the 
thirteenth century, and makes him son of Gilkmuire, son of 
Raicc, son of Olhair Snoice, son of Gillcmuirc, whose mother 
is said to have been Ealga of the Fair Locks, daughter of 
Harold, king of LoMan or Norway.^^ They were Celtic in 
the male line, Norwegian in the female. 

The supposed descent of the Macintoshes from the Mac- 
Duffs, earls of Fife, was, no doubt, based on the interpreta- 
tion of the name, which means literally ' the son of the 
thane ;' but this theory of their descent could only have 
arisen after the legend of Macduff, thane of Fife, assumed 
a prominent place in the fabulous history of Scotland. He 
was the thane par excellence, and the Macintoshes were 
naturally connected with him as such ; but, as there were in 
reality no thanes of Fife, and the old earls never bore that 
title, this descent cannot be supported, and must fall along 
with the supposed marriage with the heiress of Clan Chat- 

^"- Douglas's Baronage, p. 375. that theii- works will obtain mercy. 

Chronicle of Man, ed. Munch, Oneil Oinii made this in the year 

pp. 19, 25. An inscription upon of God nine hundred and ninety- 

an Irish meather or wooden drink- three.' 

ing-cup preserved at Dunvegan has The true reading is as follows : — 

been supposed to indicate this de- ' Katharina Nigryneill uxor Johan- 

scent from the kings of Mann. The nis Meguigir principis de Fermanac 

inscription, says Sir Walter Scott, me fieri fecit Anno Domini 1493. 

in the notes to the Lord of the Isles, Oculi omnium in te sperant Domine 

p. 312, may run thus at length : — et tu das escam illorum in tempore 

' Ufo Johannis Mich Magni principis opportuuo. ' That is, ' Katharine 

de Hr Mana3 Vich Liahia Magryneil MacRannal, wife of John Macguire, 

et sperat Domino Ihesu dari clemen- Lord of Fermanagh, caused me to 

tiam illorum opera. Fecit Anno Do- be made in the year of our Lord 

mini 993, Ouili Oim ; ' which may 1493. The eyes of all hope in Thee, 

run in English, ' Ufo, the son of Lord, and Thou givest them food 

John the son of Magnus, Prince of in due season.' 

Man, the grandson of Liahia Mac- •'" See Genealogy of M'Leans in 

gryneil, trusts in the Lord Jesus Appendi.x, No. viir. 


tan, and the charter said to have been granted in 1338 by 
David IT., which is no doubt a spurious pedigree charter, 
and commits the usual blunder of making it a crown charter, 
while the superiority of Lochaber was in the Lords of the 
Isles. In the MS. histories of the Macintoshes, the whole 
race, including the old Macintoshes, is brought from the thane 
of Fife, but there is another form of it which attaches the 
legend to the later family, the descendant of Malcolm Mac- 
intosh, who, by the influence of the Lords of the Isles, after 
the secession of the old Clan Chattan in 1429, acquired the 
position of Captain of the Clan ; for we are told in the 
Knock MS. that Angus of the Isles had, by the daughter of 
.Tohu Gruamach Mackay, ' the mother of the first Laird of 
Macintosh, for a son of ^MacDuff, thane of Fife, coming after 
manslaughter to shelter himself in Macdonald's house, got 
her daughter with child, went to Ireland with Edward Bruce, 
where he was killed; by which means Macintosh is of natural 
(illegitimate) descent, his progenitor being got in that manner. 
Macintosh in the ancient language signifies a Thane's son. 
The boy was brought up by Macdonald, who in process of time 
procured a competent estate for him in the Braes of Lochaber 
and Braes of Murray.'^-* This was Callum leg or Malcolm 
Macintosh, whose son Duncan was the first Captain of Clan 
Chattan. The name Macintosh, however, clearly implies 
that they were the descendants of a tliane. In the family 
liistories the Macintoshes of Monzievaird in Stratherne and of 
Tiryny in Athole are made cadets of the Macintosh, but we 
know that they were in reality derived from the thanes of 
Struan and of Glentilt respectively, and we must likewise 
look elsewhere for the thane from whom the old Macintoshes 
of Badenoch descended. Now we find that in 1170 King 
William the Lion grants the lands of Brass, now Birse, in 
Deeside, to the bishops of Aberdeen, ' liis thaynes being how- 

•'^ Collectanea de Rehus Alhankis, p. 291. 


ever excepted,' that is, retaining their lauds as thanes. In 
1226 King Alexander the Second grants to the bishop of 
Moray the lands of Kathniorcus or liothyniurchus to be held 
in free forest; and in 1241 to tlie Ijishop of Aberdeen the 
risht to hold his lands of Brass or Birse in free forest.^^ These 
grants in free forest would exclude the thanes of their lands, 
but we find in 1382 a precept by King llobert the Second 
directed to his son Alexander Stewart, Lord of Badenoch, re- 
quiring him to restrain Farchard MacToschy and his adherents 
from disturbing the bishop of Aberdeen and his tenants in 
the lands of Brass, and to oblige him to prosecute his claim 
by form of law.^*^ This Farchard appears in the genealogy 
of the old Macintoshes at the time, and the Lord of Badenoch 
must have been regarded as his overlord. The tradition of 
the Macintoshes is that Eothiemurchus was their earliest 
possession, and when Alexander Macintosh obtains a feudal 
right to the lands in 1464 he is termed thane of Rothymur- 
chus.^^ It seems probable that the name was derived from 
the thanes of Brass, who may also have been thanes of Eothie- 
murchus, and from whom the old Macintoshes were de- 
scended. In their genealogy the name of Gillemichael, or 
the servant of St. Michael, appears in place of the spurious 
Angus, the supposititious husband of Eva, and St. Michael 
was the patron saint of the parish of Birse.^^ As possessors 
of Rothiemurchus they are brought into immediate contact 
with that branch of the old Clan Chattan whose principal 
seat was Dalnavert, and no doubt were, as indicated in the 
older genealogies, a branch of that clan. The representatives 
of these older Macintoshes were, beyond doubt, the Shaws 
of Eothiemurchus and the Farquharsons of Strathdee, who 

*^ Chart, of Aberdeen, vol. i. ^* The district of Glenchatt in 

pp. 12, 15; Chart, of Moray, p. 21. Birse, and the burn of Chattie, 

'^^ Chart, of Aberdeen,\o\.\..T^.\'i&. may have some connection witli 

^" Chart, of Moray, p. 419 ; Spal- the name of Clanchattau. 
diiKj Miscellany, ii. 25"2. 


extended from Badeiiocli as iar as Birse, and whose head in 
1464 was Alexander Keir Macintosh. 

The resemblance of the name of Campbell in its more 
modern form to De Campobello no doubt led to the sup- 
posed descent of the Campbells from a Norman family of 
that name, but in order to produce a close resemblance the 
Norman name has been inverted. Its real form was not De 
Campobello, but De Bello Campo, and in Norman French 
Beauchamp. The resemblance is still further lost in the 
older form of the name of the clan, which was Cambell. 
The first of the race who appears on record with that desig- 
nation is Gillespie Cambell, who is mentioned in 1263 as 
having received a grant of the lands of Mestreth and Sale- 
whop, that is, Menstry and Sawchop, from King Alexander 
the Third.-'^*' In one of the Irish genealogies his father 
Dubhgal, son of Duncan, who is termed M'Duine in the 
charter of David ii., appears as ' Dubhgal Cambel a quo,' 
that is, from whom the clan is named, and there seems little 
doubt that it was a personal epithet analogous to that of 
Cameron, and that from him the family formerly called 
MacDuibhne took his later name. His son was Cailin 
Mor, and from him the head of the family bears the name 
of MacCailin Mor, commonly corrupted to MacCallum Mor. 

A foreign descent has likewise been attributed to the old 
earls of Lennox, from whom the Clanpharlan and other High- 
land families were undoubtedly descended, and it has been 
supposed that Ahvyn MacArchill, an Angle of Northumbria, 
was father of the first earl of Lennox. The first known earl 
of Lennox undoubtedly bore the name of Alwyn, who had a 
son Alwyn, second earl, father of Maelduin, and it is equally 
certain that an Alwyn MacArchill repeatedly appears as 
witnessing charters of David the First. This latter Alwyn 
first appears in the Lennox pedigree in Crawford's Peerage, 
^^ Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 24. 



[book III. 

pnblislied in 171G, where he is ideutitied with the first 
Alwyii. The next step in the process was to connect Arkill, 
the father of Alwyn, with a certain Arcliillus, son of Aykfrith, 
a Saxon, who had large estates in Northumbria, and fled to 
Scotland in 1070 to evade the vengeance of William the 
Conqueror, and thus a Saxon origin is assigned to the earls 
of Lennox. There is nothing, however, to support this 
theory except the resemblance of names. Alwyn MacArchill 
never appears bearing the title of Comes or Earl, and while 
lie flourished during the reign of David the First, and never 
appears after the year 1155, the first mention of Alwyn, earl 
of Lennox, cannot be placed earlier than the year 1193, and 
between these dates we find David, earl of Huntingdon, the 
brother of Malcolm the Fourth and William the Lion, in 
possession of the earldom. There is therefore absolutely no 
authority for this descent, and it was certainly unknown 
prior to the eighteenth century.*'' On the other hand, 
Muredach Albanach, who was contemporary with Alwyn, 
earl of Lennox, gives him a Celtic father Muredach, and 
tlius supports the old Irish pedigree, which makes him son 
of Muredach, son of Maeldobhen, a descent antecedently pro- 
bable, as this name of Maldoven or Maeldouen occurs amone 

■" In a History of the Drum- 
monds, compiled in 1861, the lirst 
Alwyn, there called Malise, is made 
a son of Ferchad, Earl of Strath- 
erne, and marries Ada, daughter of 
David, earl of Huntingdon. 

This spurious descent of the 
earls of Lennox from the Northum- 
brian Archill was questioned by 
Lord Hailes, and rightly rejected 
by Mr. Robertson in his Scotland 
under her Early Kings, and by Mr. 
Cosmo Inues, but has again been re- 
vived by Mr. W. Fraser in his book 
of The Lennox, who is unable to 
produce any further authority for it 

than that it must have been received 
from the Laird of Macfarlane, be- 
cause it appears in Douglas's Peer- 
age, to which that distinguished 
antiquary contributed some of the 
materials, and that the old earls of 
Lennox are called by the Gaelic 
bards ' Siol Arkyll,' that is, de- 
scendants of Arkill, but in both in- 
stances he is mistaken, for Douglas 
took his statement from Crawford, 
and it is not true that the old earls 
were ever called by the Gaelic bards 
' Siol Arkyll, ' and M r. Fraser gives 
no authority for the statement. 


the later earls, while the Annals of Ulster record that in 
1216 'Trad O'Mailfabhail, chief of Cinel Fergusa, with his 
brothers and many others, was slain by Muireadhach, son 
of the Mormaer of Lennox,' and the Celtic title of Mormaer 
could hardly be borne by a Saxon earl. This Maeldouen, 
the grandfather of Alwyn, firsA earl, and the true ancestor 
of the race, must have lived in the early part of the twelfth 
century, and is thus contemporary with Meldoinneth, the 
son of Machedach, the 'judex bonus and discretus,' who, 
with Constantine earl of Fife, and Dufgal son of Mocche, 
qui f wit senex, ]o\xiedi in perambulating the lands of Kyrk- 
nesse ; and as the latter appears in the old Irish genealogy 
of the Macleans as the grandfather of a lay abbot of Lismore 
and the ancestor of a Celtic clan, so in jNIeldoinneth, son of 
Macliedach, we may possibly recognise the Maldobhnaigh, 
the grandfather of Alwyn, and the ancestor of the Gaelic 
Lords of the Lennox. 

The group of clans which sprang from the Lords of the 
Isles had their origin within the historic period, and their 
pedigree is too well authenticated to render a spurious version 
of it possible ; while as the lands they held of the Lords of the 
Isles were in the main confirmed after the forfeiture of the 
last lord by the Crown, they were left without any great 
motive to do so ; but two other clans, who were in reality 
not connected with them, seem to have thought it for their 
interest to claim likewise a descent from the Lords of the 
Isles, and both were connected with the earldom of Athole. 
These were the Clan Donnachie or Eobertsons of Strowan, and 
the MacNabs of Glendochart. The former clan simply ex- 
changed Andrew de Atholia, the undoubted father of Duncan 
de Atholia, the eponymus of the clan, for Angus of the Isles, 
but as Duncan is repeatedly designated in charters and other 
documents the son of Andrew de Atholia, the supposed con- 
nection with the Lords of the Isles is untenable. The Mac- 


Nabs are stated by Buchanan of Auchmar to be descended 
of a son of the first abbot of Inchaffray, whose surname was 
M'Donald, in the beginning of the reign of Alexander the 
Second. Inchaffray, however, was founded in the reign of 
William the Lion, and the first abbot was Malis, a pastor and 
hermit, and the second was Innocent, who had been prior, and 
neither could have been connected with the Macdonalds. 
Tlie name MacNab certaiidy means the son of the abbot, 
but we must look elsewhere for the monastery of which he 
must have been the lay abbot. In the seventh century St. 
Fillan founded a monastery in Glendochart, the upper part 
of which took its name of Strathfillan from him, and in the 
reign of King William we find the abbot of Glendochart 
ranking along with the earls of Atholl and of Menteath."*^ 
As the property possessed by the MacNabs lay in Glen- 
dochart, and we find the name of Gillafaelan, or servant of 
St. Fillan, occurring in their oldest genealogy, we may cer- 
tainly recognise in them the descendants of the lay abbots 
of Glendochart. To the same class we may probably add the 
Clan Gregor. Besides the genealogy of this clan contained 
in the Irish mss.. Dean Macgregor furnishes us with one 
which may probably be viewed as the native tradition. In 
it Gregor, the eponymas of the clan, has a different ancestry, 
and his pedigree is taken up to a certain Aoidh Urchaidh, or 
Hugh of Glenurchay, which, as Glenurchay was an old posses- 
sion of the MacGregors, may be viewed as the native tradi- 
tion and more probable descent. The usual calculation 
would place him in the end of the twelfth century, but the 
Dean connects him at once with Kenneth MacAlpin in the 
ninth century,*- and thus the supposed royal descent of the 

^' Item si calumpniatus vocaverit eo homines suos qui testentur super 

warentum aliquem in Ergadia que dictam attestam. — Acts of Parlia- 

pertinet ad Scociam tunc veniat at ment, vol. i. p. 372. 

Comitem Atholie vel ad Abbatem •*'- The Dean makes Gregor son of 

de Glendochard et ipsi mittent cum John son of Malcolm son of Duncan 


MacGregors must be relegated to the same category with 
the descent of the other clans from the kings of Dalriada. 
The son of this Aodh bore, however, the name of Gillafadan, 
or servant of St. Fillan, and as the MacGregors likewise pos- 
sessed property in Glendochart, they were more probably 
connected with the MacNabs. The MacKinnons too were 
closely connected with the abbacy of lona, and repeatedly 
furnished abbots to that monastery. The traditional con- 
nection between these three clans — the MacNabs, the Mac- 
Gregors, and the MacKinnons — is further evidenced by two 
bonds of friendship — one in 1606 between the MacKinnons 
and the MacNabs, in which, as being come of one house and 
being of one surname, Finlay MacNab of Bowane acknow- 
ledges Lauchlan MacKinnon of Strathardel 'as ane kynd 
chieff and of ane house ; ' the other somewhat later between 
Lachlan MacKinnon of Strathardill and James MacGregor of 
MacGregor, in which they are said to be ' descended lawfully 
frae twa brethren of auld descent.'*" The Clan Lawren we 
have seen were also descended from an abbot. The Clan 
Mhic, Duihhsidc or Macduffys may have derived their name 
from Duihhsidc who appears in the Annals of Ulster in 1164 
as Ferleighinn or lector of lona, and Diarmada, the grand- 
father of Gillachattan, the eponymvs of the Clan Chattan, 
is said in the old Irish genealogy to have been called the 
Ferleighinn or lector. Tradition attaches to Gillachattan 
the epithet of Clcrech or Cleric, and he and his descendants 
the Clan Vuireach are said to have been hereditary lay par- 
sons of Kingussie, one of whom, Duncan the son of Kenneth, 
appears in 1438 as Duncan parson. From him the chief of 
the Clan Vuireach takes his name of Macpherson. The 
earls of Ross too descend from the lay priests of Applecross. 

Beg son of Duncan a Sruthlee (that Book, p. 161 ; and Gaelic portion, 

is, of Stirling) son of Gillafaelan son p. 127. See also poems, p. 141. 

of Aodh Urchaidh son of Kenneth •*■' Douglas's Baruncuje, pp. 497, 

son of Alpin. — Dtan of Lmnore's 498. 


Result oi The conclusion, then, to which this analysis of the clan 

analysis of ,. i-ii ■, ■, ^ ■, t/v. 

peiiigrees. pedigrees which have been popularly accepted at different 
times has brought us, is, that so far as they profess to show 
the origin of the different clans, they are entirely artificial 
and untrustworthy, but that the older genealogies may be 
accepted as showing the descent of the clan from its eponyraus 
or founder, and within reasonable limits for some generations 
beyond him, wliile the later spurious pedigrees must be re- 
jected altogether. It may seem surprising that such spurious 
pedigrees and fabulous origins should be so readily credited 
by the Clan families as genuine traditions, and receive such 
prompt acceptance as the true fount from which they sprung ; 
but we must recollect that the fabulous history of Hector 
Boece was as rapidly and universally adopted as the genuine 
annals of the national history, and became rooted in those 
parts of the country to which its fictitious events related as 
local traditions. When Hector Boece invested the obscure 
usurper Grig with the name and attributes of a fictitious 
king, Gregory the Great, and connected him with the royal 
line of kings, the Clan Gregor at once recognised him as 
their eponymus ancestor, and their descent from him is now 
implicitly believed in by all the MacGregors. It is possible, 
however, from these genealogies, and from other indica- 
tions, to distribute the clans in certain groups, as having 
apparently a closer connection with each other, and these 
groups we hold in the main to represent the great tribes 
into which the Gaelic population was divided before they 
became broken up into clans. The two great tribes which 
possessed the greater part of the Highlands were the Gall- 
gaidheal or Gael in the west, who had been under the 
power of the Norwegians, and the great tribe of the Mora- 
vians, or Men of Moray, in the Central and Eastern High- 
lands. To the former belong all the clans descended of the 
Lords of the Isles, the Campbells and Macleods probably re- 


presenting the older inhabitants of their respective districts ; 
to the latter belong in the main the clans brought in the old 
Irish genealogies from the kings of Dalriada of the tribe of 
Lorn, among whom the old Mormaers of Moray appear. The 
group containing the Clan Andres or old Eosses, the Mac- 
kenzies and Mathesons, belong to the tribe of Eoss, the Clan 
Donnachy to Athole, the Clan Lawren to Stratherne, and the 
Clan Pharlane to Lennox, while the group containing the 
MacNabs, Clan Gregor, and MacKinnons, appear to have 
emerged from Glendochart, at least to be connected with the 
old Columban monasteries.** The Clans, properly so called, 
were thus of native origin ; the surnames partly of native 
and partly of foreign descent. 

It is not much more than a century and a half since the Tt rmina- 
Highland clans combined, in the eighteenth century, to alter Clanship in 
the dynasty of Great Britain, and shook the stability of the lands, 
throne, and since the President of the Supreme Court laid 
before Government a memorial giving a detailed statement of 
their names, their military strength, and the names of their 
chiefs ; and not much more than a hundred years later, the 
same Court has been called upon to answer the question. 
What is a clan ? and to determine whether the word has any 
legal significance whatever in the social organisation of the 
Highlands. In 1632, James, earl of Moray, let the lands of 
Faillie and others to Donald MacGillephadrich, head of the 
sept of Clan Bean, one of the sixteen tribes which made up 
the Clan Chattan, for his lifetime and the lifetime of the two 
next heirs-male, and for three periods of nineteen years to his 
heirs-male and assignees of the Clan Chattan, and this tack 
was confirmed to his son Donald MacBean. In 1771 the 
earl of Moray grants a feu-right of these lands to Donald Mac- 

** In the main the author has seen Highlanders of Scotland, published 
little reason to alter the distribution in 1837, to which the reader is re- 
of the clans in an earlier work. The ferred for their detailed history. 


Bean, and his lieirs-inale and assignees whatsoever of the said 
Clan of Clan Chattan, and in the same year Donald MacBean 
sells the lands to Captain William ^Macgillivray, the head of 
another of the sixteen clans, and to his heirs and assignees of 
the Clan Chattan. His son, the last of the direct line of the 
Macgillivrays of Dunmaglass, died in 1852, and the question 
arose whether his heirs-at-law, who were not of the clan, could 
succeed. In order to determine this question, the collateral 
heir-male, John Macgillivray of Dunmaglass, raised an action 
in the Supreme Court to have it declared that no person was 
entitled to succeed to the late John Lachlan Macillivray of 
Dunmaglass, who was not a member of the Clan Chattan, but 
the Court held that clanship of Clan Chattan, as a condition 
of heirship and a limitation of the succession of heirs, could 
not be recognised or enforced by law. The Court thus 
defined the modern position of a clan : — 

' The lapse of time aud the progress of civilisation, with the 
attendant influences of settled government, regular authority, and 
the supremacy of law, have entirely obliterated the peculiar features, 
and destroyed the essential qualities aud character of Scottish clan- 
ship ; but whether they are viewed as they once were, or as they 
now are, a Court of law is equally precluded from recognising clans 
as existing institutions or societies with legal status, the membership 
of which can be inquired into or acknowledged for ascertaining the 
character of heirs called to succession. 

' The inquiry which the pursuer's averments would here demand 
must be attended witli extreme practical difiiculty ; but the recogni- 
tion of a clan as an institution or society known to law, so that 
membership thereof shall be a quality of heirship aud a condition 
of succession, is open to serious objection in point of principle. 

' In an earlier age, when feudal authority and irresponsible power 
were stronger than the law, and formidable to the Crown, clans and 
chiefs, with military character, feudal subordination, and internal 
arbitrary dominion, were allowed to sustain a tolerated, but not a 
legally recognised or sanctioned existence. 


' la more recent times clans are indeed mentioned, or recognised 
as existing, in several Acts of Parliament. But it is thought that 
they are not mentioned or recognised as institutions or societies 
having legal status, legal rights, or legal vocation or functions, 
but rather as associations of a lawless, arbitrary, turbulent, and 
dangerous character. 

' But nothing now remains either of the feudal power and inde- 
pendent dominion which procured sufferance in one age, or of the 
lawless and dangerous turbulence which required suppression in 
another. When all military character, all feudal subordination all 
heritable jurisdiction, all independent authority of chiefs, are ex- 
tracted from what used to be called a clan, nothing remains of its 
essential and peculiar features. Clans are no longer wliat they were. 
The purposes for which they once existed, as tolerated but not as 
sanctioned societies, are not now lawful. To all practical purposes 
they cannot legally act, and they do not legally exist. The law 
knows them not. For peaceful pageantry, social enjoyment, and 
family traditions, mention may still be made of clans and chiefs of 
clans ; but the Highlands of Scotland, no longer oppressed by arbi- 
trary sway, or distracted by feudal contentions, are now inhabited 
by loyal, orderly, and peaceful subjects of the Crown of Great 
Britain ; and clans are not now corporations which law sustains, 
nor societies which law recognises or acknowledges.' 

Such being the view of the Supreme Court oi the country 
as to the modern position of the clan, it remains for us to 
inquire how far any of the features of the ancient tribal 
land tenure are still preserved in the Highlands and Islands 
of Scotland. 




in tenure 
of land. 

of C'alps. 

If the position of the clans Avas, as we have seen, greatly 
affected by the statutes passed towards the end of the six- 
teenth century, the following century witnessed the com- 
mencement of a process of change which no less affected 
the position of the members of the clan as regarded their 
tenure of the land, which was influenced partly by positive 
enactments of the Legislature, partly by the increased efficacy 
of the law of the land, which ignored all Celtic usages incon- 
sistent with its principles, and regarded all persons possessing 
a feudal title as absolute proprietors of the land, and all occu- 
pants of the land who could not show a right derived from 
the proprietor as simply yearly tenants, and partly by changes 
which took place in the profitable employment of the land. 

The first relation which was assailed was that of the 
position of the native-men and subordinate septs to the 
chief, and in 1617 a statute was passed which proceeded on 
the narrative, that ' his Majestie's lieges have sustained great 
hurt and skayth these many years bygone by the chiefs of 
clans within the Highlands and Isles of this kingdom, by the 
unlawful taking from them their children and executors after 
their decease under the name of Caulpes of their best aucht 
whether it be on mare, horse, or cow, alleging their pre- 
decessors to have been in possession thereof for maintaining 


and defending of them against their enemies and evil willars 
of old and ordained that in no time coming none of his 
Highness's lieges presume nor take on hand to intromit 
with nor uplift the said Caulpis within any part of this 
kingdom.'^ In the same Parliament a statute was passed 
for the protection of the ' forests within the realm in which 
deer are kept, and which are altogether wasted and decayed 
by sheallings, pasturing of horses, mares, cattle, oxen, and 
other bestial cutting of woods within the bounds of the said 
forests shooting and slaying of deer and wild fowls with 
hagbuttis and with dogs in forbidden time.'- 

The land occupied by the members of the clan was Size of 
divided into townships or farms, each township consisting of *°^^°^^^P^- 
a certain portion of arable land, meadow, green pasture, and 
muirland. They were of various sizes, and occupied the lower 
part of the country, extending in the straths or valleys from 
the stream, and from the shore of the sea, and the arms of the 
sea or lochs, to the ridge of the hill behind. A stone fence, 
called the head-dyke, or an imaginary line answering to it 
ran along the brae or slope, and separated the arable, meadow- 
ground, and pasture of the milch cows from the muirland or 
hill pasture, where the horses, yeld-cattle, and sheep of the 
farm ranged. The arable land of the township which lay 
within the head-dyke was usually divided into infield and 
outfield. In the former the steading, or town as it was 
called, was situated, and it was kept in tillage, on which all 
the manure was laid. The outfield consisted of sucli plots 
at the bottom of the valleys as were level enough and free 
of wood or stones to be ploughed, and were kept in corn and 
lea alternately, the cattle being folded upon them for manure 
called tathing. The meadows were patches among the fields, 
too wet, woody, or stony, to be ploughed, and kept under 
scythe and sickle for a scanty supply of hay ; while the faces 

1 Acts of Parliarntiit, vol. iv. p. 548. -' lb. p. 547. 

VOL. 111. 2 A 


of the braes, roots of the hills, M'oody or stony wastes at the 
bottom, with a small plot near tlie house, termed the door- 
land, for baiting horses, were kept as pasture for cattle in 
summer and sheep in winter ; while the sheep and horses 
were pastured during summer on the muirland or hill pas- 
ture, which lay immediately above the head-dyke, and con- 
tiguous to the green pasture-grounds. 
Occupation These farms or townships were occupied in three different 
ahips. ways. They were either possessed by the tacksmen or good- 
men themselves, in which case they kept on them a number 
of cottars, to each of whom they gave a house, grass for a 
cow or two, and as much ground as would sow about a boll 
of oats ; or they were possessed by sub-tenants, to whom the 
tacksmen sub-let the whole or a part of the farm, or else 
they were held direct from the proprietor in joint tenancy by 
a number of tenants. These tenants and sub-tenants formed 
a sort of village community, having their houses together, 
holding the arable land in runrig, which was divided annually 
by lot among them, and the pasture land in common, each 
tenant being entitled to pasture a certain number of cattle, 
sheep, and horses, in proportion to his share of the arable 
land, which was termed his souming and rouming. In most 
cases the land was held on what w^as called a steelbow tenure, 
when the stock on the farm was the property of the landlord 
or tacksman, and was let along with the land, and at the end 
of the lease the tenant or sub-tenant had to return an equal 
amount of stock or pay the difference. In the Western Isles 
there was also a kind of tenancy called half-foot, where the 
possessor of the farm furnished the land and seed-corn, and 
the other party cultivated the land, the produce being divided. 
Average In the Central Highlands the average township consisted 

township of about 90 acres within the head-dyke, of which 20 acres 
Highlands '^'^^rc infield, 15 acres outfield, 10 acres meadow, 35 acres 
green pasture, and 10 acres woody waste; and the muirland 


beyond the head-dyke 250 acres. The smaller township con- 
tained within the head-dyke 5 acres infield, 4 acres outfield, 
2| acres meadow, 20 acres green pasture, 2| acres waste, and 
beyond the head-dyke 75 acres of muirland or hill pasture. 

In the Islands the township usually consisted of what Township 
was called a penny land, but occasionally of the lialf penny islands. 
land, termed Leffen (Lethphein). These penny lands, how- 
ever, were of different sizes. Thus of three penny lands on 
the south side of Loch Scriden, in the island of Mull, one 
consisted of 64 acres of infield arable land, 16 of outfield 
arable, 19 of green pasture, and 497 of hill pasture; another 
contained 106 acres of infield arable land, 44 acres of out- 
field arable, 19 acres of green pasture, and 704 of hill pas- 
ture and the third consisted of 68 acres of infield arable 
land, 27 of outfield arable, 29 of green pasture, and 872 of 
hill pasture. This latter township was occupied by eight 
tenants, each pasturing twelve cows, with their followers.^ 

The great mountain ranges and the groups of larger hills nigiiiand 
either formed deer-forests or lay waste, and within their forests. 
bounds were shealings or summer pasture attached to farms, 
when the contiguous muir was not sufficient for hill stock 
in summer, and here the cows were brought in summer and 
kept for six or seven weeks.* The peat-mosses furnished 
the tenants of the farms with their fuel. 

The principal deer-forests were to be found in the two 
great mountain ranges of the Mounth, which extended across 
the island from the eastern to the western sea, and Drum- 
alban, or the backbone of Scotland, which divided the eastern 
from the western waters. These forests existed from time 
immemorial. Thus we find that in 1630 the earldom of 
AthoU was granted by Charles i. to John, earl of Atholl, 

^ This account is taken mainly ^ This is very similar to the custom 

from Marshall's Agriculture of the in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, 

Central Hujhlands, and from private where the summer pasture is termed 

information. an Alp and the Ijothies SenncrhiUte. 


the pojiu- 
latioii in 
tlie eigh- 

with the free forest of Bynzecromby, and all the other free 
forests of the earldom, the office of forester, and the privileges 
of the same; and in the Acts of Parliament a statute regard- 
ing a forest in the latter range in 16G2, when Parliament 
ratifies a charter granted by King James the Sixth in 1G17, 
constituting the Campbells of Glenurchay heritable foresters 
and keepers of the forests and woods of Mamlorne, Berina- 
kansauche alias Bendaskerlie, Pinglenbeg and Finglenmor ; 
and in order to protect the forest more effectually they have 
power to escheat or forfeit all horses, mares, kyne, sheep, 
goats, swine, and other cattle and bestials that shall be 
found in any time coming feeding within the said woods 
and forests, or any part of the bounds thereof^ 

In the year 1695 a statute was passed to abolish the 
system of holding land in runrig,*^ but it was so expressed as 
to apply only to cases of joint proprietary of the runrig 
lands, and not to that of a joint tenancy, as was the case in 
these Highland townships. 

In the following century the social position of the Gaelic 
population in the Highlands and Islands became affected by 
several causes. These were in the main the introduction of 
sheep-farming and emigration of the people from various 
districts ; the increased manufacture of kelp ; the extension 
of the culture of the potato, and the system of crofting. 
When the cessation of these causes, which had kept the 
Highlands distinct from the rest of the country, brought all 
classes into contact with a different and more advanced state 
of society, and the old feudal relations of superior and de- 
pendant gradually passed into those of proprietor and tenant, 
the natural consequence was, from the conversion of services 
and the different estimate of the relative value of land and 
people, that the rents were everywhere raised ; and this gave 
rise to the extensive emigration of those who were unwilling 

5 Acts of Parliament, vol. vii. p. 438. ^ lb. vol. ix. p. 421. 


to submit to or could not find a place in the new system. 
Then followed the more profitable occupation of the hill 
pasture under sheep stock, and the introduction of sheep- 
farming. The farms held by the tacksmen were very gene- 
rally converted into sheep-farms, and new ones were created, 
as opportunity offered, by throwing the townships occupied 
by the joint tenants into larger farms, and adding extensive 
ranges of hill pasture to them. So far as the latter was con- 
cerned, the placing under sheep of extensive ranges of hill 
country which had previously either lain waste or been 
occupied as deer-forests, had no effect upon the population ; 
but it became necessary to remove the small tenants, in order 
to convert their holdings into wintering for the sheep, and 
this led to a large portion of the population being dis- 
possessed.^ The emigration of the people which had been 
created by these causes was checked by the American war, 
but recommenced to even a greater extent after the peace, 
and continued till the passing of the Emigration Act in 1803. 
As this emigration had generally consisted of entire families, 
and many of the tacksmen were accompanied by theii 
dependants, and thus, as the large farms were introduced on 
the one hand, the dispossessed population emigrated on the 
other, there was nothing in the change of policy, whether 
it was desirable in itself or not, which was not in accordance 
with the principles of social economy, so far as population is 
concerned. It is estimated that of those who were dispos- 
sessed from the sheep-farming, two-thirds emigrated in the 
beginning of the present century. Various circumstances 
led, however, to a check being then given to emigration, one 
principal cause of which was the new source of wealth to the 
proprietors, and of employment to the population of those 

'' The old servile condition of the regarded as an oppressive custom, 

small tenants, by which they were would probably have been valued 

attached to the soil, and could not at this time as a privilege, 
be severed from it, which is usually 


districts bordered by the sea and of the Islands, which arose 
from the increased manufacture of kelp. This manufacture 
was first introduced so far back as the year 1734, but did 
not rise into notice till the American war, when kelp reached 
the remunerating price of £8 per ton. After the termination 
of that war the price fell, owing to competition in barilla and 
potash, and kelp was manufactured to but a limited extent 
till the present century, when it again rose into importance, 
and had reached in 1806 an average price of £16 per ton, 
and in 1808, 1809, and 1810 the enormous price of £22 per 
ton. The increased profits arising from this manufacture 
caused a great demand for labour, and created a powerful 
interest in all classes engaged in it to encourage population. 
At the same time, as it only afforded employment during 
two months in summer, and, from its being a great object 
to bring a large quantity as quickly as possible to market, 
demanded a large amount of labour at one season of the 
year only, an additional resource was found in the potato, 
introduced in 1743, but cultivated to a limited extent 
till this period, when its culture extended as rapidly as 
the manufacture of kelp had increased, until it became the 
principal means of subsistence of a large jiortion of the 
Townships The Increase of the population, and the extension of the 
inner Culture of the potato which accompanied it, may be illus- 
i^^isso*"^ trated from the statistics of one parish in Skye. The popu- 
lation of this parish in 1801 was 2555. In 1841 it had 
increased to 3625. In 1801 the produce of the parish con- 
sisted of 1600 bolls of oats and here, and of 5000 barrels of 
potatoes. In 1841, 1618 bolls of grain and 32,000 barrels of 
potatoes. Thus, while the population showed an increase of 
1070, the produce of the cereal crops had undergone little 
change during the forty years preceding 1841 ; but the 
cultivation of the potato had increased sixfold, and conse- 


quently furnished the sole additional production to meet the 
requirements of the additional population. 

The crofting system was first introduced by the arable 
portion of the small farms or townships previously held in 
common and cultivated in runrig, being permanently divided 
among the joint-tenants in separate crofts, the pasture re- 
maining in common. This, though an improvement with 
reference to the cultivation of the farm, was unfortunately 
not accompanied by any practical guarantee against sub- 
dividing, by the security of leases, or by the encouragement 
and attention which the crofters required. The i)revious 
system, where the arable land was held in joint-tenancy, 
though necessarily implying a low state of agriculture, yet 
afforded some guarantees in the joint-interest created by it 
against subdivision ; but when the employment afforded by 
the manufacture of kelp became the principal dependence of 
all classes, and the cultivation of the land of secondary im- 
portance, the comparative independence of the tenants on 
each other, which resulted from the possession of separate 
crofts, afforded fatal facilities for subdivision and sub-letting, 
which were carried to a great extent. This result was like- 
wise increased by separate lotting on the part of the pro- 
prietors or of those in the management of their estates. The 
Fencible regiments had been raised, in many cases, on a pro- 
mise to give lots or possessions to the recruits, and, when dis- 
banded, these promises had to be redeemed. A system of 
general and indiscriminate lotting was introduced and carried 
on, by which separate lots were provided for the population 
as they pressed still more upon the land, while the employ- 
ment afforded by the kelp and the increased culture of the 
potato provided a resource for their occupants. The tendency 
of all this was greatly to increase the cottar class, who were 
sub-tenants under the tacksmen and small tenants, their 
labour being usually taken in place of rent, in return for the 


lots they lield ; but with a limited potato-culture and no 
extraordinary demand lor labour, this class had hitherto not 
been very numerous. Other circumstances still further 
tended to add to this class of the community. The British 
Fishery Society had established in 1788 the fishing villages 
of Tobermory, Ullapool, Stein, and others, with a view of 
prosecuting a permanent fishing trade ; and proprietors had 
followed their example in setting similar communities on 
the sea-coast as a resource for the dispossessed population. 
Small lots, generally about two acres, were given to the pro- 
posed fishermen, but these villages failed in the main from 
various causes, and formed a refuge for the dispossessed 
population of neighbouring properties, till they furnished 
examples of the poorest class of lotters or cottars. The ex- 
tension of the large farms and the removal of the former 
occupants of the land unaccompanied by emigration — the 
Highland clearing in the proper sense of the term — neces- 
sarily added to the numbers of the same class, and any sub- 
sequent enforced emigration was too often of a character 
which not only did nothing to reduce the numbers of this 
class, but rather tended to aggravate the evil, as the families 
it removed were generally of the better class of small tenantry 
able to provide some part of the cost of transit, while the land 
they occupied was at the same time withdrawn from cultiva- 
tion, and those of its occupants who did not emigrate were 
necessarily thrown upon the cottar population. 

Such was the position of the population, when the manu- 
facture of kelp, after proving a source of wealth and employ- 
ment, ceased to be so remunerative after the repeal of the 
salt-duty in 1817, and was finally prostrated under the com- 
petition produced by the reduction of the duty on barilla. 
The people had become to a great extent dependent on the 
potato for a considerable portion of the year, and the employ- 
ment afforded by the kelp supplied the period between the 


consumption of the potato crop of one year and that of the 
succeeding crop. All classes appear to have forgotten that 
the profits of the kelp manufacture were not the legitimate 
produce of the land, on which they could depend as pro- 
prietors and tenants, but that they were in fact engaged in a 
manufacture subject to the fluctuations of trade arising from 
the state of the market, and might be placed in the same 
position as a manufacturing population during one of the 
periodical stagnations of trade. The sudden withdrawal of 
this resource left the main part of the Highland population 
in a similar situation, except that they had become rooted 
to the soil and confirmed in habits which unfitted them to 
meet the crisis. A considerable portion of the population 
disclosed the appearance of a parasite class, pressing largely 
upon the means of subsistence and the resources of others, 
and the cottars having lost the resource of the kelp became 
exposed to an annual destitution during the period which 
intervened between the consumption of the produce of each 
potato crop, until the partial failure of that crop in the years 
1836-37, and the more extensive destruction of it in 1847 
and three succeeding years, reduced a large portion of the 
population to a state of absolute destitution for the time, and 
brought their social position prominently under the notice of 
all classes of the community. 

The statistics of the same parish in Skye will afford a fair 
illustration of their position during the failure of the potato 
crop. The parish consisted then of 4826 acres of arable land, 
4339 of green pasture, and 37,305 of hill pasture. There 
were four large farms containing about 1200 acres of arable 
land, and on these farms there were twenty-five families of 
cottars. The remaining 3676 acres of arable land were dis- 
tributed among thirty-seven townships held by 334 families 
of crofters ; and upon these 334 families of crofters there was 
a parasite population of 300 families of cottars. The particu- 


in the 

lars of two of these townships will show still more clearly 
the state of the population at this time. One, consisting of 
205 acres, was held by nine tenants, whose families amounted 
to forty-three persons. Of these 205 acres, 42 were under 
cultivation, the usual produce of which was sixty-one bolls. 
They had twenty-four cows, sixteen sheep, and six horses, and 
the total rent paid by them was £84, and upon this farm their 
were besides ten families of cottars, giving a population of 
eighty-six souls on a farm paying only £84 of rent. Another 
township contained 161 acres, and was held by four families 
of croft tenants. There were only 2 2 acres under cultivation, 
yielding on an average thirty-two bolls. They had eight 
cows, twenty-one sheep, and four horses, and paid £55 of 
rent, and on this farm were seven families of cottars. In 
another parish in the same island, a township paying £68 
of rent was held by twenty-two families of crofter tenants, 
while there were located in the township no fewer than 
twenty-five families of cottars, giving a population of 250 
souls dependent on the produce of the ground for subsistence.^ 

It might, however, be expected that the features of the 
older state of the occupants of the soil would be longer pre- 
served in the Outer Hebrides where there was less intercourse 
with the mainland, and an account of the present state of 
some of the townships in the Long Island has been kindly 
communicated for this work by Mr. Alexander Carmichael, a 
gentleman who has been long resident among them, and is 
intimately acquainted with their condition, which will furnish 
an appropriate conclusion to this chapter. 

' Old systems are tenacious. They linger long among a 

^ The pi'eceding sketch has been 
mainly taken from the reports of 
the Board for the Relief of High- 
land Destitution in the years 1847- 
1850 (Third Report for 1848, p. 24 ; 
Second Report for 1850, p. 40). The 

author filled the otlice of Secretary 
to the Board, which necessarily 
brought the state of the popula- 
tion under his notice, and these 
reports were compiled by himself. 


rural people, and in remote places. Of these is the land 
system of runrig {Mor Earann), which characterises more 
or less the land system of some of the Western Isles 
(Innsi-Gall). The Outer Hebrides are called the Long 
Island {Eilcann Facia, Innis Fada). They are a series 
of islands 119 miles in length, and varying from half-a- 
mile to twenty miles in breadth. This kite-like chain of 
40 inhabited and upwards of 150 uninhabited islands con- 
tains a population of 40,000. Much of the land is held by 
extensive tacksmen on leases {Fir-BaiJe), and, there being 
no intermediate tenantry, the rest of the land is occupied 
by small tenants at will without leases. These number 
4500, the majority of whom fish as well as farm. 

'The country is divided into townlands of various ex- 
tent. The arable land (Fearann grainsich) occupied by the 
small tenants of these townlands is worked in three ways — 
as crofts wholly, as crofts and runrig combined, and as runrig 
wholly. In Lewis and Harris the arable land is wholly 
divided into crofts ; in Uist and Barra the arable land is 
divided, in part into crofts, and in part worked in runrig ; 
while in the townlands of Hosta, Caolas Paipil, and the island 
of Heisgeir in North L^ist, the arable land is worked exclu- 
sively upon the runrig system of share and share alike. The 
grazinu' ground of the tenants of each townland throughout the 
Long Island is held in common (in Lewis called Comhpairt). 

' The soil varies from pure sand to pure moss. Along the 
Atlantic there is a wide plain of sandy soil called Machair. 
This merges into a mixture of sand and moss (Breac- 
thalamh, or mottled soil), which again merges into the pure 
moss {Mointcach) towards the Minch. As the soil is dry 
and sandy, if the summer is dry the crop is light. On the 
other hand, if the summer is moist the crop is heavy and 
good. In order that all may have an equal chance, the 
Machair belonging to them is equally divided among the 


tenants of the township. Obviously tlie man who is restricted 
to his croft has fewer advantages than the man who, together 
witli his croft, has his share of the Machair, and still fewer 
advantages than the man who has, rig for rig with his neigh- 
bours, the run of the various soils of his townland, which 
gives name to the system. Consequently, a wet or a dry 
season affects the tenant of the croft system more than the 
tenant of the combined system, and the tenant of the com- 
bined system more than the tenant of the runrig system. 

' The townland of Hosta is occupied by four, Caolas Paipil 
by six, and the island of Heisgeir by twelve tenants. To- 
wards the end of autumn, when harvest is over, and the fruits 
of the year have been gathered in, the constable {Con- 
ddbal, Foirfeadeach) calls a meeting of the tenants of the 
townland for Nabachd (preferably Nahuidheachd, neighbour- 
liness). They meet, and having decided upon the portion 
of land {Leob, Clar) to be put under green crop next year, 
they divide it into shares according to the number of ten- 
ants in the place, and the number of shares in the soil they 
respectively possess. Thereupon they cast lots (Crcmna- 
churadh, Cur chrann, Tilgcadh chrann, Crannadh), and the 
share which falls to a tenant he retains for three years. A 
third of the land under cultivation is thus divided every 
year. Accordingly, the whole cultivated land of the town- 
land undergoes redivision every three years. Should a man 
set a bad share he is allowed to choose his share in the next 
division. The tenants divide the land into shares of uniform 
size. For this purpose they use a rod several yards long, 
and they observe as much accuracy in measuring their land 
as a draper in measuring his cloth. In marking the bound- 
ary between shares, a turf {Tore) is dug up and turned over 
along the line of demarcation. The ' tore ' is then cut along 
the middle, and half is taken by the tenant on one side and 
half by the tenant on the other side, in ploughing the subse- 


quent furrow ; similar care being afterwards exercised in 
cutting the corn along the furrow. The tenant's portion of 
the runrig is termed Cianag and his proportion of the 
grazing for every pound he pays Coir-sgoraidh. 

' There are no fences round the fields. The crop being 
thus exposed to injury from the cattle grazing along the side, 
the people leave a protecting rig on the margin of the crop. 
This rig is divided transversely into shares, in order to sub- 
ject all the tenants to equal risk. The rig is called indis- 
criminately loinair ionailt browsing rig, lomair a chruidh 
the cattle rig, and lomaire comachaidh the promiscuous rig. 
The arrangement is named Comachadh, promiscuous. Occa- 
sionally and for limited bits of ground, the people till, sow, 
and reap in common, and divide the produce into shares 
{Bainn, Ranntaichcan) and draw lots. This too is called 
Comachadh, promiscuous. The system was not uncommon 
in the past, though now nearly obsolete. 

' In making their own land arrangements for the year, 
the tenants set apart a piece of ground towards the support 
of their poor. This ground is called Cianag nam hochd, the 
Cianag of the poor, and Talamh nam hochd, the ground of 
the poor. Farm produce given to the poor who go about 
when the crop is being secured is termed Feigh, Faigh, or 
Faoigli. The produce for which the suppliant travels de- 
notes the nature of the Faoigh or aid, as Faoigli cloimh wool- 
aid, Faoigh arair corn-aid, or Faoigh huntata potato-aid. 

' In reclaiming moorland {Mointeach, Sliahh, Riasg), the 
tenants divide the ground into narrow strips of five feet 
wide or thereby. These strips, called lazy-beds (Feann- 
agan, from Feann to scarify), the tenants allot among them- 
selves according to their shares or crofts. The people 
mutually encourage one another to plant as much of this 
ground as possible. In this manner much waste land is re- 
claimed and enhanced in value, and ground hitherto the 


home of the stonechat, grouse, snipe, and sundew, is made to 
yield luxuriant crops of potatoes, corn, hay, and grass. Not 
unfrequently, however, these land-reclamations are wrested 
without acknowledgment from those who made them. 

' The sheep, cattle, and horses of the townland (Spreidh 
a hhailc) graze together, the species being separate. A 
tenant can only keep stock conformably to his share in the 
soil. He is, however, at liberty to regulate the proportions 
of the different kinds, provided that his total stock does not 
exceed his total grazing rights. He may keep a larger 
number of one species and a corresponding smaller number 
of another. Or he can keep a greater number of the young 
and a corresponding less number of the old of the same 
species, or the reverse. About Whitsuntide, when the young 
braird appears, the people remove their sheep and cattle 
to the grazing ground behind the arable land {Gearruidh, 
Culcinn, Sliahh, or Beinn). This is called clearing the town- 
land, and is variously termed in various districts — Belt each 
a hhaile, Glanadh a hhaile, Fuadach, Cartadh, Cicsgaradh, 
Cursgaradh, Usgaradh, and Ursgaradh. The tenants bring 
forward their stock (Leibhidh), and a souming (Sumachadh) 
is made. The Leibhidh is the amount of the tenant's 
stock, the Suvmchadh the number he is entitled to graze 
in common with his neighbours. Should the tenant have 
a croft, he is probably able to graze some extra stock 
thereon, though this is demurred to by his neighbours. 
Each penny (Peighinn) of arable land has grazing rights of 
so many soums. Neither, however, is the extent of land in 
the " penny " nor the number of animals in the soum uni- 
formly the same. The soum (Sum, Sicim) consists of a cow 
with her progeny (Bo le h-cd)^ Conformably to the code 
of one district this includes only the cow and her calf, and 

» Bo le h-al, cow and her progeny. A cow is said to be entitled to her 
calf for a year and a day. 


according to the Gaelic distich the calf becomes a stirk at 

La Samlina thcircar gamhna ris ua laoigh, 
La ^Illeain theirear aidhean riu na dheigh. 

At Hallowmas the calf is called a stirk aye, 
At Saint John's the stirk becomes a quey. 

' In another district the soum {Bo le h-al) means the cow 
and her three immediate descendants — the calf, the one- 
year-old stirk, and the two-year-old quey. 

' In a third district the soum or Bo le h-al comprehends 
five animals, viz., the cow, her calf, her one-year-old stirk, 
her two-year-old quey, and her three-year-old heifer. When 
the calf has attained four years of age it is ousted from the 
soum and classed with the cows. 

' The people conform to their code in equalising their 
stock. Different species of animals are placed against one 
another, and the same species at different ages. This is 
called Coilpeachadh, equalising. The grazing equivalents of 
a cow are eight calves, four one-year-old stirks, two two-year- 
old queys, one three-year-old heifer, and one stirk, eight 
sheep, twelve hoggs,^*' sixteen lambs, or, sixteen geese. The 
grazing equivalents of the horse are eight foals, four one- 
year-old fillies, two two-year-old fillies, one three-year-old, 
and one one-year-old filly, or two cows. The horse is deemed 
to have arrived at grazing maturity at four years of age. 
Three one-year-old hoggs are considered equal in grazing to 
two sheep, and one two-year-old hogg is deemed equal to one 
sheep. The cow is entitled to her calf. Should a tenant 
have two cows without calves, the cows are entitled to get 
one one-year-old stirk or its equivalent along with them. 
And, should he have four cows without calves, the cows 
claim two one-year-old queys, or their equivalents. 

1" A uame applied iu the Highlands to one-year-old sheep. 


' If the stock, or soum, of a tenant be complete, it is 
termed Lcihhidh stan and Suviachadh slan, that is, whole 
fxiWiidh and whole soum, and Fiar slan, or whole grass. 
The animals which go to complete the stock or soum are 
called Slanuich, Slanaichean, completers. Should the stock 
or soum be incomplete, it is Lcihhidh hriste, broken stock ; 
Sumachadh hriste, broken soum, or Fiar hriste, Bristiar, 
broken grass. The odd animals beyond the complete 
stock or soum are Bristich, Bristichcan, or Beacha hriste, 
l)roken beasts. 

' In the event of a tenant having an overstock {Barr 
leihhe), or an oversoum {Barr-suma, Barr-S2iime), he must 
provide for it independently. He may buy grazing from a 
neighbour in his own or contiguous townland who has an 
understock (Gior-leihhe), or an undersoum {Gior-suime, or 
the community may allow the overstock to remain on the 
grass till he can dispose of it. If the latter, payment of the 
grazing of the extra animals is exacted according to their 
code. The amount is paid over to the fund of the community, 
which is used for the common good towards buying iresh 
stock, bulls, tups, or for some such purpose. 

' The souming is amended at Lammas (Limastain), after 
the first markets are held, and re-amended at Hallowtide, 
after the last markets are over, when the final and winter 
arrangements are made. 

' In Lewis and Harris the crofters keep stock according 
to every pound of rent they pay. This system is termed 
Cosgarradh, evidently Coir-sgoraidh, the right of grazing. 

' There being no fences to protect the fields, during summer 
and autumn the herds are placed at night in enclosures to 
secure them against trespassing on the crop. The enclosure 
for horses is called Marclan, Covihlong ; for cattle, Bitaile, 
Cuithc ; for sheep. Gro, Fang, Faing ; for goats, Mainnir, Cro; 
and for calfs and lambs, Cotan. 


' Lest any of these should break loose and damage the corn, 
two men watch the folds together at night. This duty is 
called Cuartachadh rounding the folds, and devolves upon 
two of the tenants in rotation. Should the watchers become 
remiss towards the dawn, when the herds begin to move, 
some of the animals may break through the enclosure and 
cause loss. If so, the two tenants are held liable, and are 
required to make reparation (Bioladh). The damage is 
appraised by the constable, who is sworn to do justice, 
and in this capacity is termed Foirfcidach, the just one, or 
Measaichc, the valuator. The constable's valuation is held 
final, unless he should be interested, when the eldest tenant 
takes his place. 

'The crofters have a code of regulations, for which, if 
broken, reparation is made. Should a crofter's horse break 
loose, or his fowls stray, and so destroy a neighbour's corn, 
the injury is valued and the amount paid into the common 
fund. All fines and reparations {Cain, Dioladh) are paid 
over to this fund, or used for the common good. The crofter 
paying the fine does not lose all interest therein, nor does 
the crofter to whom reparation is made derive the exclusive 
benefit therefrom. This reparation is exacted by the farm 
constable in his official capacity as representing the crofters 
of the farm as a body.^^ 

'Having finished their tillage, the people go early in 
June to the hill-grazing with their flocks. This is a busy 
day in the townland. The people are up and in commotion 
like bees about to swarm. The different families bring their 
herds together and drive them away. The sheep lead, the 
cattle go next, the younger preceding, and the horses follow. 
The men carry burdens of sticks, heather, ropes, spades, and 

^^ The constable of the towuland Maor grtiiniid, ground-ofhcer ; 3faor 
is sometimes termed am Maor beg, fearainn, land-steward ; Maor ceilp, 
the little or sub-Maor. Maor is a kelp-officer ; Maor cladaich, shore- 
frequent name of an office-holder, as officer ; Maor coille, forester. 

VOL. III. 2 B 


other things needed to repair their summer huts {Sgitheil, 
Bothain). The women carry l)edding, meal, dairy and cook- 
ing utensils. Eound below their waists is a thick woollen 
cord or leathern strap {Crios-fheile, kilt-band), underneath 
which their skirts are drawn up to enable them to walk 
easily over the moors. Barefooted, bareheaded, comely boys 
and girls, with gaunt sagacious dogs, flit hither and thither, 
keeping the herds together as best they can, and every now 
and then having a neck-and-neck race with some perverse 
animal trying to run away home. There is much noise. 
Men — several at a time — give directions and scold. Women 
knit their stockings, sing their songs, talk and walk as free 
and erect as if there were no burdens on their backs nor on 
their hearts, nor sin nor sorrow in this world of ours, so far 
as they are concerned. Above this din rise the voices of the 
various animals being thus unwillingly driven from their 
homes. Sheep bleet for their lambs, lambs for their mothers; 
cows low for their calves, and calves low for their dams ; 
mares neigh for their foals, and foals reply as they lightly 
trip round about, little thinking of coming work and hard 
fare. All who meet on the way bless the trial, as this re- 
moving is called. They wish it good luck and prosperity, 
and a good flitting day, and, having invoked the care of 
Israel's Shepherd on man and beast, they pass on. 

' When the grazing-ground has been reached and the 
burdens are laid down, the huts are repaired outwardly and 
inwardly, the fires are rekindled, and food is prepared. 
The people bring forward their stock, every man's stock 
separately, and, as they are being driven into the enclosure, 
the constable and another man at either side of the gate- 
way see that only the proper souming has been brought to 
the grazing. This precaution over, the cattle are turned out 
to graze. 

' Having seen to their cattle and sorted their shealings, 


the people repair to their removing feast {Feiscl net h-imrig 
or shealing feast, Fcisd na h-airidh). The feast is simple 
enough, the chief thing being a cheese, which every housewife 
is careful to provide for the occasion from last year's produce. 
The cheese is shared among neighbours and friends, as they 
wish themselves and cattle luck and prosperity. 

(' Laoigh bhailgionn boirionn air gach fireach 
Fiseach crodh na h-airidh.) 

' Every head is uncovered, every knee is bowed, as they 
dedicate themselves and their flocks to the care of Israel's 

' In Barra, South Uist, and Benbecula, the Eoman Catholic 
faith predominates ; here, in their touching dedicatory old 
hymn, the people invoke with the aid of the Trinity, that of 
the angel with the cornered shield and flaming sword. Saint 
Michael, the patron saint of their horses ; of Saint Columba 
the holy, the guardian over their cattle, and of the golden- 
haired Virgin Shepherdess, and Mother of the Lamb without 
spot or blemish. 

' In North Uist, Harris, and Lewis, the Protestant faith 
entirely prevails, and the people confine their invocation to, 

' The Shepherd that keeps Israel, 
He slumbereth not nor sleepeth. 

(' Fcuch air Fear Coimhead Israeil, 
Codal cha'n aom no suain.) 

As the people sing their dedication, their voices resound from 
their shealings, here literally in the wilderness, and as the 
music floats on the air, and echoes among the rocks, hills, 
and glens, and is wafted over fresh-water lakes and sea-lochs, 
the effect is very striking. 

' The walls of the shealings in which the people live are 
of turf, the roof of sticks covered with divots. There are 
usually two shealings together ; the larger the dwelling, the 
smaller the dairy. This style of hut (Sgithiol) is called Airidh 


or shealing, and Both cheap, or Bothcm cheap, turf bothy ; to 
distinguish it from the Both cloichc or Bothan cloichc, stone 
bothy. Tliis is entirely constructed of stone, the roof taper- 
ing to a cone more or less pointed. The apex of the cone 
roof is probably finished off with a flag, through the centre of 
which there is a hole like that through an upper millstone, 
the opening for the egress of smoke and the ingress of light. 
There is a low doorway with a removable door, seldom used, 
made of wicker-work, wattles, heather, or bent. In the walls 
of the hut, two, three, or four feet from the floor, are recesses 
for the various utensils in use by the people, while in the 
bosom of the thick wall low down near the ground are the 
dormitories wherein the people sleep. The entrance to these 
dormitories, slightly raised above the floor, is a small hole, 
barely capable of admitting a person to creep through. This 
sleeping-place is called Grupa, from Crupadh, to crouch. 
It was a special feature in the architecture of the former 
houses of St. Kilda, the houses themselves being called 
Grupa from this characteristic. These beehive houses are 
still the shealings of the Lewis people. Invariably two or 
three strong healthy girls share the same shealing. Here 
they remain making butter and cheese till the corn is ripe 
for shearing, when they and their cattle return home. The 
people enjoy this life at the hill pasturage, and many of the 
best lyric songs in their language are in praise of the loved 
summer shealing. 

' A tenant is liable for his own rent only. Formerly the 
rent was paid in four different ways. The first part was paid 
in money, the second in meal, the third in butter and cheese 
{Annlann), and the fourth part in cattle fit for selling or 
killing (Grodh creic, Greiche, no Seiche). In Uist, where 
kelp (Geilp) is made, the kelp is placed to the credit for 
rent of the tenants who make it. There was also a system 
of labour. The people gave so many days' work, the days 


being divided in certain proportions between the four seasons 
of the year. "When the land was held direct from the pro- 
prietor the labour was called MorlanacM, occasionally 
Borlanachd. Probably this term is from Mur a fortress 
and Lann an enclosure. This system of labour may have 
had its origin in return for the shelter the enclosed fortress 
of the chief afforded the people in time of danger. When 
the land was held under the tacksman or middleman, and 
indirectly from the proprietor, tlie labour was called Cai~ 
riste, from Caithris, unrest, a word sufficiently indicative of 
the mode of its exaction. 

' The shepherd, cattle-herd, and march-keeper (Coimh- 
eadaidh, Criochaire, Fear coimhid) are paid in kind, invari- 
ably in seaweed, land, and grazing. This mode of payment 
is called Fairthadh. The term is also applied to corn, meal, 
or potatoes, given to men-servants in payment of wages, 
and also to bits of extra tillage granted by their neighbours 
to help poor tenants. In parts of Lewis the term is applied 
to the ground set apart for the poor. 

' The shepherd, as his name implies, tends the sheep, the 
cattle-herd the cattle, and the march-keeper, grass-keeper, 
or watcher, watches the open marches of the townland to 
prevent trespass. Having no interest in the matter, the 
march-keeper is often sent out from the people to call out 
the lots. The watcher may also be required to act as 
perchman {Peursair, or shoreherd, Buacliaillc cladaich). His 
duty is to erect a pole, on the top of which is a bundle of 
seaweed (Gaelic, Topan todhair) to indicate that the seaware 
is on the shore. When the people see the raised sign they 
hasten to the shore with their horses and carts, and creels, 
to land the spoils of the sea to put life in the land {an 
tabhartas todhair a chuireas beatha an talamli, — an tahhartas 
todhair chuireas cohhair an uir, — the seaweed offering that 
feeds the land). No tenant is permitted to take seaweed 


till his ueiglibours have time to arrive. Occasionally the 
sea- weed is divided into pennies, and lots drawn for the 
different shares, as for land. 

' The people adhere to their traditional code, and if this 
be transgressed in any part reparation is exacted. If a 
tenant, through carelessness, allows his horse to go loose, 
he is amerced in a fine {Cain). The fine is exacted where 
no damage results. The shepherd, cattle-herd, and watcher 
are subject to the same rigorous exactions if they allow 
injury to the crop. 

' The proprietor is represented on the estate by a factor 
(Bailidh). In Lewis the factor is called Chamberlain. The 
factor is represented by a Maor in every district, and 
the 3Iao7' by a constable in every townland. The factor 
communicates with his Maors, the Maors with their con- 
stables, who communicate with the tenants of their town- 
lands. The people, however, are allowed to apply their 
own customs (Ckachdna) in working their land, and their 
own regulations {Biaghailt) in managing their stock. The 
Cleachdadh is their unwritten law, the Biaghailt their 
unwritten regulations; and to these they are attached as 
the result of experience and the wisdom of their fathers. 
The Cleachdadh and Biaghailt differ in different parishes, 
and occasionally in different districts of the same parish. 
The closer the runrig system is followed, the more are 
these customs and regulations observed. The more intelli- 
gent tenants regret a departure from them. The people 
defer to the wishes of the many as against the wisdom of 
the few, and obey the decision of the majority. 

' When required by the proprietor or the people, the con- 
stable convenes a meeting of the tenants. If the constable 
presides, the meeting is Nabac; if the Maor presides, the 
council is the more important. Mod or moot. Perhaps the 
people have met to confer about making or repairing a dis- 


trict road (Utraid), the digging or deepening of a ditch, or 
trench {Dig), the planting or repairing with bent {Muran) 
the drifting sandbanks of their Machair, or the buying or 
selling of a bull. The man who presides explains the busi- 
ness, and makes a motion. If the people assent, the matter 
is decided ; if not, discussion ensues. Some of the people 
speak well. They reason forcibly, illustrate fittingly, and 
show complete mastery over their native Gaelic, which with 
them is plastic, copious, and expressive. Everything calcu- 
lated to mar neighbourliness is discountenanced. Eeasoning, 
they say, shall obtain hearing, and sooner or later victory ; 
but the most contemptible of contemptible things are dogged- 
liness and vulgar abuse (Ghiohli comhdach huaidh agus luath 
no mall cisdeachd, ach diuhhaidh dicbh an domhain, coineal- 
achd agus graisgealacJid). Nevertheless, personalities occur, 
offensive allusions and remarks are made, even the pro- 
prietor's representative in the second or third degree removed 
being not always treated with immunity, though always with 
respect. When contention is imminent, the people of the 
townland, and possibly of other townlands, come to hear. 
The council meet on a knoll at the house of the Maor or 
the constable. The subject is decided by votes. Those who 
approve go sunwise to the south and to the right of the 
official presiding ; while those who disapprove go sunwise 
to the north and to the left of the representative. These 
directions are symbolic — the one being propitious, the other 
unpropitious. Should the votes be equal, lots are drawn 
three times — the two times carrying against the one time. If 
a man holds out against his neighbours, perhaps faithful 
amongst the faithless, he is reproached as aon an aghaidh 
pobuill, one against people, and is derisively addressed as 
Fiacill gaibhre, goat-tooth. 

'Highlanders are essentially monarchical in their economic 
institutions and social tendencies. In this they say they but 


follow the example or instincts of the lower animals, all of 
which follow their chief. The leader of the herd or flock is 
called Ccannard, Ccann-iuil, but more frequently Snaodairc. 
The leader of the horses is Ceannmarc, Ceannmharc, Marc- 
cheann ; of the cattle, Ceannabha, Ceannablioin, Boinecheann ; 
ceannnith ; of the sheep, Ccannciora, Cioraclicann ; of the 
goats, Ceannahhoc, Ceann-r/aibhre, Ceannaghdbhar, Gabhar- 
chcann ; of the swine, Ceann-cida, Cula-chcann, Speile-cheann ; 
of the deer, Ceanna-ghreigh, Grechcann; of birds, Ceann- 
ianlainn, lala-chcann, lolchcann ; and of the fish, Ceann- 
snaoth. Ceann-snaoth is particularly applied to the salmon, 
as Ccann snaoth an eisg, the leader of the fish, which is also 
called Righ nan iasg, the king of the fish. The eagle is 
called Bigli na7i ian, the king of the birds, and Righ na 
h-ealtain, king of the bird universe. The eagle is also termed 
Firein, true bird, an t-ian, the bird par excellence. Firein 
is a symbolic name applied to a Christian. 

' The leader of the herd is the first to rise and the last to 
lie down, and even when asleep would seem to be awake. 
A male is not necessarily the leader. Among cattle this 
position is often assumed by a cow. 

''An te is urranta dhc'n chrodh 
Is i ghiobh a bhnaidh. 

' The ablest of the cows 
Achieving victory. 

But whether male or female the leader is the least despotic 
animal in the herd, the most contemptible being invariably 
the most despotic. 

' The houses of the tenants form a cluster {Gnigne, Grignc, 
Griogsa, Crcaga, Carigean). In parts of Lewis the houses 
are in straight line called Straid, street, occasionally from 
one to three miles in length. They are placed in a suitable 
part of the townland, and those of the tenants of the runrig 
system are warm, good, and comfortable. These tenants 


carry on their farming operations simultaneously, and not 
♦without friendly and wholesome rivalry, the enterprise of 
one stimulating the zeal of another. 

' Not the least pleasing feature iu this semi-family system 
is the assistance rendered by his neighbours to a tenant 
whose work has fallen behind through accident, sickness, 
death, or other unavoidable cause. When death occurs in a 
family, all the other families of the townland cease working- 
till the dead is buried — gu'n cuirear uir fo uir — till earth is 
placed under earth. 

' Compassion for the poor, consideration towards the dis- 
tressed, and respect for the dead, are characteristic traits of 
these people. This is inculcated in their sayings — 

' Comhnadh ris a bhochd, cobhair ris a bhas, agus baigh ris a 
bhron, tri nithe ris nach do ghabh duine glic aithreachas riabh. 

' Succour to the poor, aid to the dead (in burying), and sympathy 
with the distressed, are three things which a wise man never regretted. 

' Their modes of dividing the land and of equalising their 
stock may seem primitive and complex to modern views, but 
they are not so to the people themselves, who apply these 
amicably, accurately, and skilfully. The division of the land 
is made with care and justice. This is the interest of all, no 
one knowing which place may fall to himself, for his neigh- 
bour's share this year may become his own three years 
hence. Portioning the stock accordintjj to the orrazing rights 
of individual tenants, and equalising {Coilpcachadh) the 
stock so portioned, are evidently the result of accurate 

'Whatever be the imperfections, according to modern 
notions, of this very old semi-family system of runrig hus- 
bandry, those tenants who have least departed from it are 
the most comfortable in North Uist, and, accordingly, in the 
Outer Hebrides.' 


It will probably surprise many to find that a state of 
society such as is above described should still exist in some 
of the townships of the Outer Hebrides. It is not many 
years since similar communities were to be found in the other 
islands and on the mainland. Their customs and regulations 
are obviously pervaded by the spirit of the old tribal com- 
munities, as exhibited in the Brehon Laws, and still possess, 
in more or less degree, some of its characteristic features. 

These farm communities, as they may be called, holding 
the arable land in runrig, and the pasture land in common, 
are fast disappearing under the influence of modern agri- 
cultural improvement, and it is well that this record of the 
older system, with its characteristic features still existing in 
some of the Highland townships, should be preserved ere it 
passes away for ever. 


TRANSLATION of a part of the Book of Clank an ald, con- 
taining the Legendary History of the Lords of the Isles, 
as given by the Macvurichs, hereditary Sennachies of the 

The children of Eochaidh Duibhlein, son of Cairbre Lithfeachar, 
son of Cormac, were three sons, who were called the three 
Collas, — Colla Uais, Colla Da crioch, and Colla Meaun ; their 
baptismal names were Caireall, Aodh, and Muireadhach, as says 
the poet — 

Caireall, the first uarne of Colla Uais ; 

Aodh, of Colla Meann of great vigour ; 

Muireadhach, of Colla Da ohrioch ; 

They were imposed on them after rebelliug. 

Colla Uais, son of Eochaidh Duibhlein, assumed the sovereignty 
of Erinn in the year of the age of Christ 322 ; and he was four 
years in the sovereignty of Erinn when Muireadhach Tireach 
opposed him with a powerful army, and gave battle to the three 
Collas, and expelled them to Alban, where they obtained ex- 
tensive lands, for Oileach, daughter of the king of Alban, was 
their mother. In the time when Cormac Finn Avas in the sove- 
reignty over Alban, 362 (326), they spent some time in Alban, 
until a war broke out between Muireadhach Tireach, king of 
Erinn and the Ulltaibh, viz., the Clanna Eughruidhe ; and he 
invited the sons of his father's brother, that is, the three Collas, 
to Erinn to assist him against the Clanna Rughruidhe and the 
adjoining districts. They responded to the king of Erinn, and 
waged a fierce war against the Clanna Rughruidhe ; and Feargus 
Foga, king of Uladh, and his three sons, fell by them ; and they 
Look possession of the province of Uladh, and of the Oilltrian 
of the province of Connacht, and many other possessions which 

308 AITENDIX 1. 

were inherited by their race in succession from the kings of 

As to Colla Uais, after lie had .terminated that Avar he 
returned back to Alban, and left all those possessions to his 
brothers ; and having spent fifteen years there he went on a 
free visit to Erinn, and died at Teamhair of the kings, Anno 
Domini 335. 

Colla Uais had four good sons, namely, Eochuidh and Fiachra 
Tort, and Fearadhach and Maine. All the Clann Domhnuill 
in Alban and in Erinn are of the race of Eochuidh. The 
Turtruighe and Fir Luirg are of the race of Fiachraidh Tort. 
The Fir Li and Fir Lacha are of the race of Fearadhach. The 
race of Main is not known to us. 

A goodly race, descended from Colla Da chrioch, flourished 
in Erinn, namely Maguire, chief over the country of Fermanagh ; 
Mac Mahon, chief over the country of Monaghan ; O'Hanlon, 
and O'Kelly, and many others. 

I have seen nothing written of the race of Colla Meann, 
except such holy men of them as went into the Church. Many 
of the holy people of Alban and Erinn were descended from the 
three Collas. 

Here is the direct line of descent from Colla Uais. Eochaidh 
was begotten of Colla Uais ; Carran was begotten of Eochaidh ; 
Earc was begotten of Carran ; Maine was begotten of Earc ; 
Fearghus was begotten of Maine ; Gothfruigh was begotten of 
Fearghus ; Niallghus was begotten of Gothfruigh. [The genea- 
logy of Macdomhnuill of Clann cheallaigh : Flannagan, son of 
Tadhg, son of Fearmara, son of Tadhg, son of Lochlann, son of 
Art, son of Fianacht, son of Domhnall, from whom are the Clann 
Domhnaill of Clann Ceallaidh, son of Colgan, son of Ceallach, 
son of Tuathal, son of Maolduin, son of Tuadan, son of Tuathal, 
son of Daimhinn, son of Cairbre, son of Dom Airgid, son of 
Niallghus.] Suibhne was begotten of Niallghus ; Mearghach 
was begotten of Suibhne ; Solomh was begotten of Mearghach ; 
Giolla Ogamhnan was begotten of Solomh. It is from this 
Giolla Oghamhnan descended the Clann Domhnaill of Eos 
Laogh, from a brother of Giolla Bride, son of Giolla Oghamh- 
nan ; and it was Giolla Oghamhnan that erected Mainistir-na- 
Sgrine, in Tir larach, in the county of Sligo, in the province of 


Connacht, and his name is there. (And be it known to you 
that the constant title borne by the clann of this tribe, from 
Eagnall, son of Somairli, up to Colla Uais, was O'Colla and 
Toisech of Eargaoidheal.) Giolla Bride, son of Gille Oghamhnan, 
son of, and from him, the Toisechs of Earargaoidheal (Argyll), 
having been among his kindred in Erinn, that is, from the Clann 
Colla, which are the Manchuidh and Mathdamnaidh, viz., the 
tribes of Macguire and Macmahon, it happened that this tribe 
held a meeting and conference in Fermanagh, on the estate of 
Macguire, and among the matters to be transacted was that 
Giollabride should get some estate of his own country, since he 
had been in banishment from his inheritance, by the power of 
the Lochlannach and Fionngallach (Norwegians). When Giolla- 
bride saw a large host of young robust people in the assembly, 
and that they were favourable to himself, the favour he asked of 
his friends was, that so many persons as the adjacent fort in the 
place could hold should be allowed to go to Alban with him, in 
the hope that he might obtain possession of his own inheritance 
and portion of it. 

Giolla Biide proceeded with that party to Alban, where they 
landed. They made frequent onsets and attacks on their enemies 
during this time of trouble, for their enemies were powerful and 
numerous at that time. All the islands from Manann (Mann) to 
Area (Orkneys), and all the Oirir (border land) from Dun Breatan 
(Dumbarton) to Cata (Caithness) in the north, were in the pos- 
session of the Lochlannach ; and such of the Gaedhal of those 
lands as remained were jirotecting themselves in the woods and 
mountains ; and at the end of that time Giolla Bride had a good 
son, who had come to maturity and renown. 

It happened that the small party who were followers of 
Giolla Bride and Somairli (Somerled) were in the mountains 
and woods of Ardgobbar (Ardgour) and of the Morbhairne 
(Morvern), and they were surprised there by a large force of 
Lochlannach and Fionnghallach. All the soldiers and plunder- 
ing parties which Somerled had, gathered round him, and he 
arranged them front and rear. Somerled put them in battle 
order, and made a great display of them to his enemies. He 
marched them three times before them in one company, so that 
they supposed there were three companies there. After that he 


attacked them, and tliey were defeated by Sonierled and his 
party, and he did not halt in tlie pursuit till he drove them 
northward across the river Sheil, and a part escaped with their 
king to the Isles ; and he did not cease from that work till he 
cleared the western side of Alban of the Lochlannach, except 
the Islands of the Fionnlochlann (Norwegians), called Innsigall ; 
and he gained victory over his enemies in every field of battle. 
He spent part of his time in war and part in peace, until he 
marched with an army to the vicinity of Glaschu (Glasgow), 
when he was slain by his page, who took his head to the king, 
in the year of our Lord 1 180 (1 1 G4). His own people assert that 
it was not to make war against the king that he went on that 
expedition, but to obtain peace, for he did more in subduing the 
king's enemies than any war he waged against him. 

Somerled had a good family, viz., Dubhghal and Kaghnall, and 
the Gall mac Sgillin, this man being so named from whom are 
descended the Clann Gall in the Glens. Bethog, daughter of 
Somerled, was a religious woman and a Black Nun. It is she 
that erected Teampall Chairinis, or the Church of Cairinis, in 
Uibhist (Uist). Dubhgal, son of Somerled, took the chiefship 
of Eargaoidheal and Ladharna (Argyll and Lorn). Raghnall 
and his race went to Innsigall and Ceanntire, where his pos- 
terity succeeded him. 

Ragnall, king of Innsigall, and Oirirgaoidheal (the Isles and 
Argyll), was the most distinguished of the Gall or Gaoidheal 
for prosperity, sway of generosity, and feats of arms. Three 
monasteries were erected by him, viz., a monastery of Black 
Monks (Benedictines) in I (lona), in honour of God and Colum- 
cille ; a monastery of Black Nuns in the same place, and a 
monastery of Grey Friars at Saghadul (Saddle in Kintyre), and 
it is he also who founded the monastic order of Molaise. 

Be it known to you that Ragnall with his force was the 
greatest power which King Alexander had against the King 
of Lochlann at the time he took the Islands from the Loch- 
lannach, and after having received a cross from Jerusalem, par- 
taken of the Body of Christ, and received unction, he died, and 
was buried at Reilic Oghran in I (lona) in the year of our Lord 
1207. And it was some time after this that Ragnall, son of 
Gofraidh, king of the Fionngall (Norwegians), was treacherously 


killed by Amhlamh, son of Gofraidh, in the year of our Lord 
1229. From this forth the rightful inheritance of Jnnsigall 
came to Eagnall, and his race after him, for the daughter of 
Amhlamh Dearg, son of Gofraidh, was the mother of Ragnall, 
«n of Somerled. This daughter of Amhlamh was the lawful 
heir of her father and of her two brothers, viz. Eagnall and 
Amhlamh Dubh. 

Messages came from Teamhair (Tara in Ireland) that Domh- 
nall, son of Eagnall, should take the government of Innsigall 
and of the greater part of the Gaoidheal. He had good children, 
viz. Aonghus Mor, the heir, and Alasdair, from whom descended 
the Clann Domhnaill Eenna, Mac William of the province of 
Connaught, and the Clann t-Sidhigh (Sheehy) of Munster, Avho 
are sprung from Siothach an Dornan, son of Eachuin, son of 

Aonghus Mor, son of Domhnall, son of Eagnall, took the place 
of his father, and it was in his time that the war of the Baliols and 
the Braces broke out. The tribe of Dubhgal, son of Somerled, 
took the side of the Baliols, and the race of Eagnal, son of Somer- 
led, the side of Eobert Bruce, and all the garrisons from Inbhear 
Feothfar (Dingwall) in the Eoss to the Mull of Kintyre were 
in the possession of MacDubhgal during that time, while the 
tribe of Eagnall were under the yoke of their enemies. 

Aonghus Mor had good children, viz. Aonghus Og, the heir, 
and Eoin, from whom sprang the Clann Eoin of Ardnamurchan, 
and Alasdair, from whom descended the Clann Alasdair; and 
Aonghus na Conluighe, from whom are sprung the Clann Don- 
chaidh and Eobertsons ; and much may be written about this 
Aonghus ]\Ior which is not here. He died in He (Isla) in the 
year of our Lord 1234 (1294). 

Aonghus Og, son of Aonghus Mor, son of Domhnall, son 
of Eagnall, son of Somerled, the noble and renowned high 
chief of Innsigall. He married the daughter of Cuinnbhuighe 
O'Cathan. She was the mother of Eoin, son of Aonghus, and it 
is with her came the unusual retinue from Erinn, viz. four-and- 
twenty sons of clan families, from whom sprang four-and-twenty 
families in Alban. Aonghus had another son, viz. Eoin^^Og an 
Fhraoich, from whom descended the Clann Eoin of Glencomhan 
(Glencoe). who are called the Clann Domhnall an Fhraoich (of 
VOL. III. 2 C 


the heather). This Aonghus Og died in He (Isla), and his body 
was interred in I (lona) in the year of our Lord 1306 (1326). 

Eoin, son of Aonghus Og, succeeded his father in the chief 
government of Innsigall. He had good children, viz. three 
sons by Anna, daughter of Ruadhri, son of Ailin, high chief <rf 
Lagarna (Lorn), and one daughter Mairi, and that Mairi was 
the wedded wife of Eachduinn MacGiolla Eoin (Hector MacLean), 
Lord of Dubhard (Duart), and Lochlan was his brother, and she 
was interred with the Lord of Coll in I (lona), in the church of 
the Black Nuns. 

The eldest sons of Eoin were Ragnall, Gothfruigh and Aon- 
ghus ; however he did not marry the mother of these men from 
the altar, but came to the resolution of marrying her at the time 
of her death, for she was a sufficient wife for him ; but his advisers 
opposed him regarding it, for it appeared to them that he could 
get a suitable match if an heir was made from his first progeny, 
although he was young and vigorous. Therefore he made a 
provision for his son Ragnall, and that was all the land which 
extended from Cillchuimin in Obuirthairbh (Abertarff) to the 
river Shell, and from the river Shell to the Eelleith in the north, 
Eig and Eum, and the two Uibhists (North and South Uist). 
And after that he proceeded to the mouth of the river of Glascu, 
and had threescore long-ships with him, and he married Mar- 
garet, the daughter of Robert Stuart, whom we call King of 
Alban, but the real person was Robert, Earl of Fife, that is the 
brother-german of old Robert Fearingiora, that is the king, and 
he was governor of Alban. And she bore to Eoin three good 
sons, viz. Domhnall of He, the heir, and Eoin Mor the Tanist, and 
Alasdair Carrach, the third son. Eoin had another son, viz. Mar- 
cos,from whom descended theClann Domhnall of Cnoic-an-chluith 
in Tir Eoghain (Tirone in Ireland). This Eoin enjoyed a long life. 
It is he that made donations to Icolumcille in his own time, and 
it is he also that covered the chapel of Elan Eorsag and the 
chapel of Elan Finlagan, and the chapel of Elan Suibhne (island 
in Loch Sween), with all their appropriate instruments for order 
and mass and the service of God, for the better upholding of the 
monks and priests this lord kept in his company ; and it is he 
that erected the monastery of the Holy Cross a long time before 
his death ; and he died in his own castle of Ardtorinis, while 


monks and priests were over his body, lie having received the 
body of Christ and having been anointed, his fair body was 
brought to Icolumcille, and the abbot and the monks and vicars 
came to meet him, as it was tlie custom to meet the body of the 
king of Fionnghall, and his service and waking were honourably 
performed during eight days and eight nights, and he was laid 
in the same grave with his father in Teampal Oghrain in the 
year of our Lord 1380. 

Kagnall, the son of Eoin, was High Steward over Innsigall 
at the time of his father's death, being in advanced age and 
ruling over them. On the death of his father he called a meet- 
ing of the nobles of Innsigall and of his brethren at one place, 
and he gave the sceptre to his brother at Cill Donan in Egg, 
and he was nominated MacDonald and Domhnall of He (Isla) 
contrary to the opinion of the men of Innsigall. A man of 
augmenting churches and monasteries was this Ragnall, son of 
Eoin, son of Aonghus Og, from whom the name of Clann Ragh- 
nall has been applied to his race. He bestowed a Tirunga 
(unciata) of land in Uibhisd (Uist) on the monastery of I (lona) 
for ever, in honour of God and of Columcille. He was governor 
of the whole of the ISTorthern Oirir (Coastland) and of the Isles, 
until he died in the year of the age of Christ 1386, in his own 
manor of Caislen Tirim, having left a family of five sons. 

AVe shall now treat of Domhnall a hile (Donald of Isla), son 
of Eoin, son of Aonghus Oig, the brother of Ragnall, how he 
took the lordship with the consent of his brethren and the 
nobles of Innsigall, all other persons being obedient to him, 
and he married Mairi, daughter of the Earl of Ros, and it is 
through her that the earldom of Ros came to the Clan Domh- 
nall. He was styled Earl of Ros and MacDomhnall, and High 
Chief of Innsigall. There are many exploits and deeds written 
of him in other places. He fought the battle of Gairfech (Gar- 
rioch or Harlaw) against Duke Murdoch in defence of his own 
right and of the earldom of Ros, and on the return of King 
James the First from the captivity of the King of Sagsan 
(England), Domhnall of He obtained the king's goodwill and 
confirmation of Ros and the rest of his inheritance, and Duke 
Murdoch and his two sons were beheaded. 

He (Domhnuill) was an entertainer of clerics and priests and 


monks in his companionship, and he gave lands in Mull and in 
Isla to tlie monastery of I, and every immunity which the 
monastery of I had from his ancestors before him ; and he made 
a covering of gold and silver for the relic of the hand of 
Coluimcille, and he himself took the brotherhood of the order, 
having left a lawful and suitable heir in the government of 
Innsigall and of Ros, viz. Alasdair son of Domhnaill. He after- 
wards died in Isla, and his full noble body was interred on the 
south side of Tempall Oghran. 

Alasdair, his son, succeeded his father in the earldom of Ros and 
lordship of Innsigall. He married Margaret Livingston, daughter 
of the Earl of Lithcu ; she was mother of Eoin, who was called 
Eoin of He or Isla, son of Alasdair of He, son of Domhnall of He. 

Aonghus Og, son of Eoin, who Avas called the heir of Eoin, 
married the daughter of Mac Cailin (Earl of Argyll), and a 
disagreement arose between him and his father about the divi- 
sion of his territory and land, in consequence of which a war 
broke out between the chiefs of Innsigall and the tribe of 
MacDomhnaill, the tribe having joined Aonghus, and the chiefs 
having joined Eoin. And the affair having been thus carried 
on, Eoin went to Mac Cailin and gave him all that lay between 
Abhuinn Fhada (the river Add) and Altna Sionnach at Braigh 
Chinntire (that is, the lands of Knapdale), for going with him 
before the king to complain of his son. Shortly afterwards this 
Aonghus Og had a large entertainment with the men of the 
north side at Inbhearnis, when he was murdered by Mac 
ICairbre, his own harper, Avho cut his throat with a long knife. 

His father lived a year after him, and all the territories sub- 
mitted to him, but, however, he restored many of them to the king. 

The daughter of Mac Cailin, the wife of Aonghus, was preg- 
nant at the time he was killed ; and she was kept in custody 
until she was confined, and she bore a son, and Domhnall was 
given as a name to him, and he was kept in custody until he 
arrived at the age of thirty years, when the men of Gleann 
Comhan (Glencoe) brought him out by a Fenian exploit. On 
his coming out of custody he came to Innsigall, and the nobles 
of Innsigall rallied round him. 

During the time that Domhnall Dubh had been in custody 
there Avas a great struggle among the Gaoidheal for power, so 


that Mac Ceaaiii of Ardnamurchan almost destroyed the race of 
Eoin Mor, son of Eoin of lie and of Ceanntire. Eoin Cathanach, 
son of Eoin, son of Doninall Balloch, son of Eoin Mor, son of 
Eoin, son of Aongus Og, Lord of the race of Eoin Mor, and Eoin 
Mor, son of Eoin Cathanach, and Eoin Og, son of Eoin Cathanach, 
and Domhnall Balloch, son of Eoin Cathanach, were treacherously 
taken prisoners by MacCeain on the island of Fionnlagan in He ; 
and he conveyed them to Duneidin, and a gallows was erected 
for them at that place which is called Baramuir (Boroughmuir), 
and they were executed, and their bodies buried in the church 
of Saint Francis, which is called Teampal ISTua (New church) at 
this time. There were none left of the children of Eoin Cathanach 
but Alasdair, son of Eoin Cathanach, and Aongus Ileach, avIio 
were hiding in the Glens in Erinn. And it is related of 
MacCeaain that he expended much wealth of gold and silver in 
making axes for the purpose of cutting down the woods of the 
Glens, in the hope he might be able to banish xA.lasdair, son of 
Eoin Cathanach, out of the Glens and out of the world. It 
happened at length that MacCeaain and Alasdair made an agree- 
ment and a marriage-contract with each other. Alasdair mar- 
ried his daughter, and she bore a good family to him. 

In a similar manner a misfortune came over the Clann Domh- 
nall of the north side, for after the death of Eoin of He, Earl of 
Eos, and the killing of Aongus, Alasdair, son of Giollaeaspuig, 
son of Alasdair of He, took possession of the earldom of Ros 
and of the northern Oirir entirely, and married the daughter of 
Morbhair Moireagh (Earl of Moray). However, some of the men 
of the northern side came, when the Clann Choinnidh (Mac- 
kenzies) and others rose up in opposition to Alasdair, and fought 
the battle of Blar, which they call Blar na Pairce. 

Alasdair had no men left but such as he had of the men of 
Ros. Alasdair came to the coast after that to seek for a force 
in Innsigall, and he embarked in a long-ship to the southern 
Oirir to see if he could find a few remaining of the race of Eoin 
Mor. Mac Ceaain observed him, and followed him on his track 
to Oransay of Colonsay, and entered the house upon him, where 
Alasdair, son of Gilleaspuig, was killed by Mac Ceaain and by 
Alasdair, son of Eoin Cathanach. 

This matter remained so for a space of time, until Domhnall 


Gallda, son of Alasdair, son of Gilleaspuig, came of age ; and he 
came from the Galltachd (the Lowlands) by the direction of Mor- 
bhar Moireagh (the Earl of Moray), until he came to Innsigall ; and 
he brought Macleod of Leoghas with him, and a good number 
of the nobles of Innsigall. They went out on Rudha-Ardna- 
murchan (the Point of Ardnamurchan), and there they met 
Alasdair, son of Eoin Cathanach, and he and Domhnall, son of 
Alasdair, made a compact and agreement with each other ; and 
they together attacked Mac Ceaain at a place called Creagan 
Airgid, and he and his three sons and many of his people were 
slain there. 

Domhnall Gallda was nominated Mac Domhnall of this side 
of Euga Ardnamurchan (the Point of Ardnamurchan), and the 
men of Innsigall submitted to him ; but he did not live after 
that but seven or eight weeks. He died at Cearnaborg in Mull, 
leaving no family or heir; but three sisters he liad, viz. the 
three daughters of Alasdair, son of Gilleaspuig. A settlement 
was made on those daughters in the northern Oirir, but they 
gave up Eos. Alasdair, son of Gilleaspuig, had a natural son, of 
whose descendants there is some account, viz. Eoin Cam, son of 
Alasdair, from whom are sprung the men of Achuidh na Coth- 
aichean in the Braighe, and Domhnall Gorm, son of Eaghnall, 
son of Alasdair Dubh, son of Eoin Cam. 

With regard to Domhnall Dubh, son of Aongus, son of Eoin 
of He, son of Alasdair of He, son of Domhnall of He, son of Eoin 
of He, son of Aongus Og, viz. the lineal lawful heir of Hmsigall 
and of Eos, on his release from confinement he came to Innsi- 
gall, and the men of Innsigall gathered about him ; and he 
and the Earl of I^eamnachd (Lennox) made an agreement to 
raise a large army for the purpose of his getting into possession 
of his own property ; and a ship came to them from England to 
Gaol Muile (Sound of Mull), with money to help them in the 
war. The money Avas given to MacGilleoin of Dubhard (MacLeau 
of Duart) to divide among the leaders of the army ; they did not 
get as much as they desired, and therefore the army broke up. 
When the Earl of Leamhnachd heard that he disj^ersed his own 
army, and made an agi'eement Avith the king. Macdomhnaill 
then proceeded to Erinn to request a force to carry on the war, 
and on his way to Baile Atha Cliath (Dublin) he died at Droichead- 


Ath (Drogheda) of a fever of five nights, without leaving a son 
or daughter as his offspring. 

O'Henna made this on Eoin of lie : — 

The sovereignty of the Gael to the Claim CoUa , 

It is right to proclaim it ; 
They were again in the same battalions, 

Tlie heroes of Fodla (a name of Ireland). 
The sovereignty of Erinn and of Alban 

Of the sunny lands 
Was possessed by the sanguinary sharp-bladed tribes, 

The fighting champions. 
The government of the entire tribes was oljtained 

By Eoin of He. 
Alasdair, the lord of hospitality, obtained 

The profit of kings. 
Domhnall, Eoin, and two Aonghus", 

Wlio were hospitable and joyful. 
Four that gained tribute from kings, 

And to whom the Gael submitted. 
Domhnall and Raghnall to kings 

Never did give ; 
Somairle, who was not deceived by flatter}-, 

The chief of heroes. 
Four from Somairle of the blue eyes 

Up to Suibhne ; 
Four whose dignity was not obscure. 

It is right to remember them. 
Six from Suibhne before mentioned 

To king Colla ; 
Wine they had on tlie banks of the Banna 

In angular cups. 
Were I to enumerate all those connected with him 

Of the nobles of tlie Gael, 
I might give every generation up to Adam, 

Such as no other man has attained. 
This is a sketch of the genealogies of the Gael, 

As I have promised ; 
This tribe with whom no comparison should be made. 

And to whom sovereignty was due. 

Age of our Lord 1473, the year that Giollaespuig, son of 
Alasdair of He, died, and his body Avas interred at Eosmhaircni, 
viz. the brother of Eoin of He, and the father of Alasdair, son 
of Giollaespuig, was killed by Mac Ceaain in Orbhansaigh Col- 
bhansaigh (Oransay of Colonsay) ; and the daughter of Mac 
Duibhsithe of Lochaber was the mother of this Giollaespuig, 
son of Alasdair of He. 


Age of the Lord 1437. In this year the King of Alban, viz. 
King James tlie First, was treacherously killed in the town of 
Pheart (Perth) by his father's brother, viz. Morbhair Athfall 
(Earl of Athole). 

In the same year died Aonghus, bishop of Innsigall, son of 
Domhnall of He, son of Eoin, son of Aonghus Og. His noble 
fair body was buried, with his crozier and his episcopal habit, in 
the transept on the south side of the great choir, which he 
selected for himself while alive. Domhnall of He had another 
son, a monk, and it was in his time that Baile-an-Mhanuidh in 
Uibhisd (Uist) was given to the church, anno Domini 1440. 

In this year died Mairi Leisli Banmorbhair (Countess) of 
Ros, and Lady of Innsigall, viz. the wife of Domhnall of He. 

I have given you an account of everything you require to 
know of the descendants of the Clanns of the Collas and Clann 
Domhnall to the death of Domhnall Dubh at Drochead Atha, viz. 
the direct line who possessed Innsigall, Ros, and the Garbhchri- 
ochan (rough bounds) of Alban. This Domhnall was the son of 
Aonghus (that was killed at Inbhernis by his own harper Mac 
IChairbre), son of Eoin of He, son of Alasdair, son of Domhnall 
of He, son of Eoin of He, son of Aonghus Og, and I know not 
which of his kindred or friends is his lawful heir. Except these 
five sons of Eoin, son of Aonghus Og, whom I set down to you, 
viz. Raghnall and Gothfraigh, the two sons of the daughter of 
Mac Dubhgaill of Lagairn (Lorn), and Domhnall, and Eoin Mor, 
and Alasdair Carrach, the three sons of Mairgred Sdiuord, 
daughter of the Earl of Fife, and governor of the King of Alban. 

The race of Raghnall, Lord of Clann Raghnaill, viz. the House 
of Oilen Tirim, and the Lord of Gleann Garadh (Glengarry). 

Gothfruith left no oflfspring, except a few poor people who 
are in North Uibhisd. 

The offspring of Domhnall of He, the eldest son of Mairgred 
Stiubhord, was Alasdair of He, Earl of Ros and Morbhair of the 
Islands. This Alasdair married Mairgred Livisdon, daughter of 
the Earl of Lithcu, to whom she bore Eoin the Earl. Alasdair 
had other children, viz. Huisdinn, by a daughter of Giolla 
Phadraig Riaigh, son of Ruaighri, son of the Green Abbot, son 
of the Earl of Ros, whose surname Avas of the Rosses. He had 
for patrimony the third part of Lewis, and other lands upon the 


mainland. It is he that was killed in the parts of Gallolach 
(Garrioch) when along with Mac Domhnall, viz. Domhnall of He. 
For there were four that went out of the army before any part 
of the main force went with them, viz. Tormord Macleoid and 
Torcuill his brother, Lochluinn mac Gillemhaoil and Giolla 
Padraig mac Ruaighri. Giolla Padraig mac Euaighri and Loch- 
luinn mac Giollamhaoil were killed, but Tormoid and Torcuill 
escaped safe from the pursuit. 

It was this Huisdinn, son of Alasdair, that plundered Orcain 
(Orkney), and William Macleoid of Heradh (Harris), and the 
youth of Innsigall were along with him in that expedition. 
Huisdinn caused Domhnall Gallach, son of Huisdinn, to marry 
the daughter of Cruner Gall (the Coroner of Caithness), and she 
was of the Gunns. Huisdinn had other good children, viz, 
Domhnall Herach, son of Huisdinn, and the daughter of Mac- 
leoid of Heradh Avas his mother; and Eoin, son of Huisdinn, 
and the daughter of Mac Cean of Ardnamurchan was his mother ; 
but that Eoin left no issue, and Giollaespuig, son of Huisdinn, 
possessed the lordship, and other sons Avho are not mentioned 
here. Domhnall Gruamach, son of Domhnall Gallach, and Domh- 
nall Gorm, son of Domhnall Gruamach, and Catriana, daughter 
of Alasdair, son of Ailin, Lord of Clann Raghnaill, was his 
mother, whose descendants still possess the lordship. 

Giollaespuig, son of Alasdair of He, whose mother was 
daughter of Mac Duibhsithe of Lochabar, and Alasdair, son of 
Giollaespuig, who obtained possession of the earldom of Ros, 
and Domhnall, his son, died without issue. 

Eoin Mor, son of Eoin, son of Aonghus Og, the Tanist to 
Mac Domhnall, married Mairi Bised, and it was with her the 
seven Tuaths of the Glens came into the possession of the Clann 

Alasdair Carrach, the third son, married the daughter of 
Morbbair Leamhna (the Earl of Lennox), but she bore no 
children to him. Aonghus, son of Alasdair, whose mother was 
a daughter of Mac Dubhshibhe, but she was not married to him. 
Alasdair, son of Aonghus, from whom are descended the race of 
Alasdair, son of Aonghus, in the Braes of Lochabar. 

There you have the descendants of these four sons of Eoin, 
son of Aonghus Os:. 




An Irish poem relating to the Kingdom of the Isles, copied from a 
fragment (paper) of an Irish MS. written circa a.d. 1600, in the 
possession of W. M. Hennessy, Esq., collated with a copy contained 
in the Book of Fermoy (E. I. Academy), transcribed about a.d. 
1457. " 


Baile sutliain sioth Eamhna, 
Crutbaidh an cliriocli a ttarla, 
Raitli cliaomh os cionn oacli diongna 
'Nab iomdba craobh fbionu abbla. 


Eamboin abblacb as uire, 

Teamhoir na tteagblacb mbuaidbe, 

Tearc dun na cnoc as caoimhe, 

Na mbrot naoidbe (naeigbi) n-ur n-uaine. 


Eambuin raitb aoibbin ionnfbuar ffbinnfbuar), 
Raitb as faoilidb fa fbionndan, 
G-eabbuidb rod go ro seandun, 
Bo bbeannur og ar ioman. 


lombda an Eamboin fhinn fbear uir 

D'fbearaibb ar a sil saor sbuil, 

Marcacb eicb duinn go diogbair 

Tre dbreicb siodbain ccuir (cuir) ccraobbuir (craebair). 





W. M. Hennessy, Esq. 


A PERPETUAL place is Sith-Eamhna, 
Beauteous the territory in which it is found 
A fair Eath above every fort, 
In which fair apple-trees are plenty. 

Eamhain of the apples, the freshest. 
The Tara of the victorious households, 
Few the duns and hills more fair, 
In their young, fresh, green garments. 

Emhain, the dehghtful, cool Rath, 
The Rath to which fair art is welcome ; 
The road to the old fort will 
A young-horned cow a-driving take. 


In bright Emhain of the fresh grass, 
Many the men on whom a noble eye looks ; 
Many the vehement rider of a brown steed 
Approaching in peace through the branchy woods. 


lomhda an (ind) Eamhoin (Emain) na n-innbhear (indmher), 

Ris nar dliealaigli a doinnfleadh, 

Guirt ar na nar a l^lifagmar (an fhamur), 

Dharbhar ghlan cbuirp an choimdeadh (choimghedh). 


Suairc bfhairclie fhir an diimha (fir in duma), 
Atibh na tairthe meala, 

Dul go sidh (cu sid) bhlaitli an (in) bhrogha. 
Dola go (cu) raith mhin nieadha. 


Eamhain (Em) abhlach na n-iobhar 
Sleamhain barrdhath a bileadli, 
Baile nua san (fan) dubh droighean, 
Nar hoilead lugh na an fhilead. 


Eamhain (Em) na nabliall ccumlua (cumra), 
Teamhair (Temair) Mlianann gan (cin) mlieabhla, 
As iad (assiat) cuaine saor (saer) Sadhbha, 
Ablila craobli (craebh) n-uaine n-Eamhna. 


Tusa (tussa) mac Sadhbha saoire, 

As (is) tu an slat (intshlat) ablila as (ar) aille, 

Ca dia do bhru na boinne 

Do roine ria thn a taidlie. 


A Raghnuill, a ri an (in) diongna, 
Ea dhruim (druim) dha (da) thi ar ti tearla (herrla) 
Do gheabhae (gliebha) a meic saoir Sadhbha, 
Labhra on leic a ttaoibh (ttaeibh) Thearahra. 


Many in Emliain of the estuaries 

(From which their deep floods have not departed) 

The fields tilled in harvest 

With clear corn of the Lord's body. 


Joyous the estate of the man of the dwmha 
Which has drunk the showers of honej^ ; 
To 2;o to the sweet sidh of the Brue; 
Is to go to the smooth Eath of mead. 


The appley Emhain of the yews, 

Smooth, top-coloured are its trees ; 

A new place under the black thorn, 

In which was nursed Lugh, descendant of the poet.^ 


Emhain of the juicy apples, 

The Tara of Manann, without disgrace ; 

The noble progeny of Sabia 

Are the apples of the green branch of Emhain. 


Thou, the son of noble Sabia, 
Thou the most beauteous apple rod ; 
What God from Bru of the Boyne 
Created thee with her in secret 1 


Raghnall, king of the fortress,- 
If thou comest with the object of seeking it, 
Thou wilt obtain, son of noble Sabia, 
A sound from the flag by the side of Tara.^ 



Da madh leat sloigh fhear (bfher) bhfuinigli (flmiuidh). 
O blioinn go mboan (cu mben) re tibhir. 
Mo dheit ar nihil 'sar mheadair (megair) 
Eamhain raheic Lir mheic Mhidhr. 


A mheic Gofraidh chaoimh (chaeimh) cruthaig, 
Nar lo traigh (traid) re taoibh (taeibh) tacair (tacoir), 
Ni miadh (miad) leath (lat) e (he) ot athair, 
Macathach (mac ath) retre ad rathaigh (i-athoigh). 


Nior (nir) uaisle (uaisli) inaoi (inai) ri Komhan, 

As (is) i do ghuaoi (ghnai) an (in) ghnaoi (ghnai) lainfhial, 

Nor uaisle rath riogh (righ) Suiriam, 

Na sgath chuilfhiar griobh (gribh) Ghailian. 


Anu ni fhuighbhe (fuidbhi) Eamhain (Emain), 
Suirghe mar thu, as tu an cobhair (in chabhair), 
Tulchan mar e (he) na aghaidh, 
Faghaigh e (he) ar drumchlar dorahain. 


Doirse t' fhearainn (ferainn) as iomdha (imdha), 
Soillse inaid (inait) sreabhainn ghorma, 
As (is) daoibh(dib)a chraobh (craebh)chuainEamhna(Emna) 
Uaim fhearna, uaim chaomli cnodhbha (chnoghdha). 


Do raghainnse gan ro (a) luing 

Is ann (in) Manainn (Manaind) se (si) mholaim 

Go mbeinn (cu mbeind) thuaidh re taobh thfearainn, 

Da leanainn uaim chaoimh chorainn. 



If thine Avere the hosts of the men of the setting (the west), 

From Boyne till it touches the Tiber, 

Greater to thee for joy and pleasure, 

Were the Emhain of the sou of Lir, son of Midir.* 


son of the fair, shapely Goffraidh, 

That withdrawest not a foot in battle ; 

It beseems not, on thy father's account, 

That any man in thy time should be thy surety. 


Not nobler was the king of the Romans than thou, 
Thy face is the generous face ; 
Not higher the fortune of the king of Syria, 
Than that of the long-tressed griffin of Gailian.'' 


To-day, Emhain will not obtain 

A lover like thee — thou art the heliJ ; 

A hillock like it in comparison, 

Find ye it on the surface of the earth. 


]\Iany are the doors of thy country, 

Brighter than the blue rills ; 

Of them, branch of the stock of Emhain, 

Are the cave of Ferna, the fair cave of Knowth. 


I would go, without a stately ship, 
Into this Manainn which I extol ; 
That 1 might be north near thy land. 
If I followed the noble cave of Goran n. 


Roinute (roindti) ar dlio Mhanuinn mhaigli (do Maiiaind 

maid) reidh, 
Ar raluing is ar ionnshloigh, 
Sleibhte ar fluid do ghort n-glainreidh 
Tug daighraheinn ort a fionu bhoinn (find bhoind). 


Coisgfe ar (flier) agus airgfe, 
Loisgfe teagh agus tolgbfae (tolcfaidh), 
Nar ladh caor ar dho ceardchae, 
Seargfae ar a lar caol colpae. 


Airgfe Ath cliatli an chomhlainn, 

Is do sgiatli ar sgatb do ghlaubliuinn, 

Ait toigbe ar ttocht (tbocbt) go Duibhlimi, 

Cuingbim ort roimbe a Raghnuill. 


A Ragbnaill, a ri an Dombnan, 

A ri dba ttabbraim (da tbabbraiui) tiilgradli, 

Ad dbiaigb uni cbnoc o Colman, 

Buaidb orgban stoc is sdurgban. 


Maitb tbeangnamb, cruaidh do chroidbe, 
A fblaitb ceanngblan cbuain Mbuile, 
Cloidbeamb cruaidb oigfbir eile 
Beire a truaill bbroigbib (broigil) bbuidbe. 


Do sbleagb dbearg ar dbo (do) dbearuaiun, 

Gacb fear a searg (scare) re a slimrinn, 

Gombi (cumbi) a grainne (graine) tre a gblandruim (geal 

no glan), 
Saidbe a Ragbnuill i (bi) a n-imliun. 



The smooth-plained Mcanann, thou wilt divide 

in two, 
For fleets and also for large armies ; 
• The hills along thy clear level fields, 

That have given thee beauty, fair Boyne. 


Thou wilt restrain menslaughter, and wilt plunder, 
Thou wilt burn houses and wilt demolish ; 
That no bolt may fall on thy forge. 
The narrow Colpa thou wilt dry up. 


Thou wilt plunder Ath-cliath of the combat, 
With thy shield guarding thy clear side ; 
The site of a house, on coming to Dublin, 
I ask of thee in advance, Eaghnall. 


Eaghnaill, King of the Domhuau ;'^ 
O king, to whom I give ardent love ; 
After thee, about Cnoc-0'Cholman (Tara), 
Shall be organs, trumpets, and clarions. 


Good thy prowess, brave thy heart, 

bright-headed prince of the harbour of Mull ; 

The hard sword of another young man 

Thou wilt bear in a yellow-bordered scabbard. 

Thy red spear in thy right hand, 
With (from) whose slim (sharp) point every man is in 

love (sickness). 
Until its edge is through the clear back. 
Thrust it, Eaghnaill, in the navel. 
VOL. III. 2 D 



Geibhe ghlaic (glaic) a cuirr cliairre (cnairre), 

Geibe slilait (slait) nduinn gan duille, 

Do theid (teit)chruinu (cruinn)shleamhain (slemain)sreinge, 

Seiune a cuirr leabliair luinge. 




Sibhse fir na mbarc mbreactlia. 
Ni mo chin tracht na ttiocfa (ticfa), 
Aitnidh dhaoibh troigh re toptha (toplita), 
Do ghoin ochta caoimh clmioclita. 


A ua ghil Gofraidh Mhearaigh (Mheraigh), 
A fhir do lotraigh luirigh, 

Do mlioid (moit) a ri re (ri) rioghain (righain), 
Do dhiogail si ar a suilibh. 


A mlieic (mic) Ghofraidli fheil fearrdha (fherrdha), 

A niheic reidh sochraigh shadbha, 

Dho bhloghais do moigh (bhloigh) dhomhna 

Chomhla solais ngloin ngarrdha. 


A ua Lachluinn na laoidheang 

A ua glan Chuinn na ngeibhionn 

larrfam (iarfain) cuan ar cul Arann 

Ag (ac) sur traghann nfhuar n-eirionn (n Erenn). 


lomdha (Imda) ad luing ar lar bhleighe (bleidhi), 

Ris nach buing sal na suidhe (snidi), 

Peisd is i na lior bhuidhe, 

Is duine ag ol di dighe (dhighi). 



Take, in thy round, stout hand, 

Take a brown leafless rod, 

Thy round smooth, strung roi^e, 

Whilst we are on the poop of thy roomy ship. 


You, ye men of the speckled barks, 

I love not the strand to which ye come not ; 

To you is known the quick step. 

To the wounding of the bosoms of noble knights. 


fair descendant of Godfrey Mearagh, ^ 
man that hast hacked coats of mail ; 
A king has boasted to a queen, 
That he would avenge thee before her eyes. 


son of generous manly Godfrey, 

mild sedate son of Sabia ; 

Thou hast broken off" from Magh-Domhna (a part of 

The clear bright garden "ate. 


descendant of Lochlainn of the ships ; 
fair descendant of Conn of the fetters ; ^'^ 
We will ask a harbour behind Aran, 
Whilst searching the cold strands of Erin. 


Many is the goblet in the hold of thy ship, 
Fixed and untouched by the brine ; 
Circled by a serpent of yellow gold. 
Out of which a man quaffs a drink. 



Do mhuirn ga muiin iiach dionghhann, 
Duadh (duna) ga uibhe iii fhoghbham, 
Mire chormann bfhuar (fuarr) bFhionnghall. 


Ceim (ceir) ad thigh (atigh) ar ti comhoil, 
Fir dhoii fheinn a ri ad ralaimh 
Easgra (escra) caomh fad chuirm nglanthuair, 
Laom (laem) ra ghuail nguirm ar gabbail. 


A Eadhnaill a ri Cola 
Gach ni ad ghlanluing do gheabha 
Rug ar shluagh sniomh an mhara, 
Fion tana fhuar na heaha. 


[B]og an dream re (ac) dail rochruidh, 
Fearr ina a dhail go (cu) dochraid, 
Cruaidhe ne fir re (ri) fearthoin (ferthoin). 
Fearchoin (ferchoin) cuaine (chuaine) ghil Ghofraidh. 


Beri bhuidhin (bhuighin) mbrat ccuanda (cuanna), 
Lat do na muighibh mora 
Gluaisid gaoth dhod chionii craobha, 

Mar chaouna (caenda) fhionn mhaoth mhona (find maeth 


Aithne ar dho (do) bharr ag bandail (can baiiail), 

Anall tar faithche fliainn fheoir, 

Ghiaisid cuirn do chuil chlann uir, 

Mhall (mall) shuil nguirm n-uir (uir) dha haindeoin. 



Draughts of thy ale bind me ; 
What delight does not thy delight repel ! 
Fatigue in quaffing it I feel not ; 
Merrier it is than the cold ale of Fingal.^ 


To advance into thy house to banquet, 
Men of the Fiann, King, are at hand, 
Fair goblets are under thy clear cool ale, 
As the blaze of blue coals is ascending. 


Raghnall, King of Coll, 
All things in thy fair ship thou 'It find ; 
Which to the host has the winding sea brought- 
The thin cold wine of the swans. 


Generous the band in distributing stock ; 
Better this than to deal it niggardly ; 
Hardy the men for fighting — 
The man-dogs of the pack of fair Godfrey. 


Take a company elegantly clothed 

With thee, from the great plains. 

May the wind blow over thy topmasts 

Gently, as the rustling of soft white moor-grass. 


The women will admire thy head, 
As thou comest past the prone-grassed green ; 
Before the rustling of thy youthful locks 
The soft blue eye will unwillingly move. 



Dorad (dorat) daoibh (daibh) snuadh ar shambclinaibh, 
Ag ad (acat) shluagh a sliaoir sliochraig, 
Leaga corn ur re a n-aighthil)h (n-aiglithibh), 
Aithghin shul ncronn o n-Gofraidh. 


Do rosg (rose) mar l^hoglia an (in) bharraidh (barraid), 
Ag tocht tar rogha an (in) rinn fheoir, 
Cosmhail blath do chuil choimmoir, 
Re snath bronnoir nir dliinneoin. 


Ni tearc a craobh ur eadtroin (etrom), 
Searc (sere) dhod (dot) ehul sliaor mar seadbharr (sedbharr) ; 
Ni tug (tuc) bean (ben) ead (et) ar thogbhonn (tocbonn), 
A gheag (gheg) brogdhonn (broeedlionn) gheal gheagmhar 


A ghoill do gleire an (in) bhrogha (brogha), 
Mar teidhe (theighi) tar moing mhara, 
Euisg ehuanda (cuanna) a cuirr na heala, 
Buinn gheala gruadha glana. 


Camdhlaoi ar ehaoin (eamdlaidarchain) do dhonnbhairr 

A i (hi) Amhlaoibh shaoir sheangdhuinn, 
Red laochlaimh reidh a Raghnaill, 
Samhlaim eill maothbhain meamruim. 


Samlaim do 11 is li an chubhair, 
A Raghnaill as ri ar Eamhain (Emain), 
Realta (relta) ghlas mall fad (fat) mhalaigb, 
Samail bharr na n-gas n-geamhair (ngedhair). 



The choicest of hues on happy limbs 

Is with thy army, noble, honest chief; 

As the sounding of full trumpets before their faces, 

Is the glance of the blue eye of Godfrey's heir. 


Thine eye is like the modest hyacinth 

Peeping through the surface of the pointed grass ; 

The hue of thy flowing locks is like 

Fresh thread of gold from the anvil (or furnace). 


Not scarce, a fresh, light branch. 

Is love for thy glorious gem-like locks ; 

No woman has been without jealousy regarding thee, 

Thou brown-white mighty scion of a great branch. 


Gall of the choicest of the Brugh, 
As thou goest across the surface of the sea ; 
Bright are thine eyes, thou of the swan-like neck, 
The white feet and the clear cheeks. 


On thy brown head is a twisted tress. 

Thou descendant of the noble, slender-brown Amhlaibh ; ^^ 

To thy soft hero-hand, Raghnall, 

I compare a strip of soft white parchment. 


Thy colour I compare to the hue of foam, 
liagiinall, who art king over Emain ; 
Under thy brows are slow blue stars 
Like to the tops of blades of corn-grass. 



M.-iitli tliinneall chuil (tindell cuili) is cheibhe, 
Ar a silleann (sillenn) sail uaine, 
Gris chaomh ar ccar (char) a sniaile, 
Aille thaobli nglan <lo ghruaidhe. 


Taobh gruaidhe uir dho ionulais, 

Craobh uaine ad (at) shuil mar shamf hrais, 

Ar fhraoch thfuilt (hfhuilt) a i (hi)jFhearghais (Fherghais), 

Do earmais (ermais) gaoth (gaeth) phuirt Parrthais. 


A fhir na greadha gile, 
A fhir na heala duibhe, 
Garbh shaithe agus min rnheile, 
Sgin (scin) eimhe blaithe buidhe. 


Tugais (tucais) ruaig mhadhma ar Maoilbheirn, 

Is badhbha uaid na hurdhuirn, 

lomdha a n-glinn fir faonmhaidhm, 

A (o) shaorbhaidhbh ghil shing shul ghuirm. 


A i (hi) Chuinn, a i (hi) Chormaic, 

Gus an luing na luing raidhbhric, 

Sgaoi (scai) do chreich ar each (ereach) ionnraic, 

Do iomlait neach eich aimhghlic. 


01c dhuinn (dhunn) gan an (in) ghlais (glais) ghaibhnionn 

Anocht ga chul (cul) tais tiormfhann (tirmfhann), 
01c dhunn (dhun) gan an dubh soighleann, 
Ar sgur goirmsheang ur Fhionnghall. 



Good is thy arrangement of tresses and locks, 
On which a blue eye looks ; 
With noble ardour is inflamed 
The bright surface of thy cheek. 


Thy fair fresh cheek thou hast Ijathed ; 
In thine eye is a blue beam soft as summer showers ; 
Over the locks of thy hair, descendant of Fergus,^^ 
The wind of Paradise has breathed. 


man of the white steed ; 

man of the black swan, 

The fierce band and the gentle mood. 

The sharp blade and the lasting fame, 


Thou hast inflicted a rout-defeat on Maelbheirn ; ^- 
Fierce on thy part were the heavy blows ; 
iS[umerous are the men dispersed in the glen, 
(from the) noble bright slender blue-eyed hero. 


Descendant of Conn, and descendant of Corniac 
Thou with the speckled ship of ships ; 
Pursue thy raids on a worthy steed ; 
For a foolish steed carries one astray. 

Evil for us that the Glas-Gaibhnionn ^^ 
Is not now in her soft dry sloping corner ; 
Evil for us that the Dubh-Soinglenn^* 
Is not now in the brilliant stud of Fingal. 




Mo chuairt thall tuillmheach dhamhsa, 
A bharr siiairc druimneach donnso, 
Do guala a ri saor seagbsa, 
Leamsa ar don i 'sa n-oisa (hi san orrsa). 


Ar n-dol dainhsa od dheaghtlioigli (ot degh thoigh), 
Mhalrasa ni balmsa docbraig, 
Measa an teagh riogb dba (da) racbair, 
Martbain ag siol geal Gbofraidb. 


A mheic Gofraidh gbuirt Mbuile, 
Do gbuirt gonfaidb ar n-aire, 
Tain go tracbtaibb do tbigbe, 
Biri o tbraigb mbarc gbloin m-baile 

Baile Sutbain. 


^ Lugli mac Ethleuii, for whom 
see O'Curry's Lectures, p. 3S8. 

- Reginald, son of Godred, Nor- 
wegian King of Man and the Isles 
from 1188 to 1226. 

=* The Lia Fal at Tara, which 
sounded at the tread of the rightful 
heir to the throne. See 0'Curry"s 
Lectures, p. 388. 

* Manannan Mac Lir, one of the 
Tiiath l)e Danann. He is coimected 
by tradition with Emhain Abhlach, 
or Emain of the apples, which is ex- 
plained to mean the Island of Arran. 
See Four Ancient Books of Wales, 
vol. i. p. 78. 

° Gailian, a rude form of the name 

of the Gaileon in Leinster, one of 
the three tribes of the Firbolg. 

" Domhuan, another of the three 
tribes of the Firbolg. 

" This was Godred Crovan, called 
in the Irish Annals Gofraidh Mera- 
nach, the founder of the Norwegian 
kingdom of jNIan and the Isles, and 
ancestor of Reginald. 

^ Tliis line alludes to Reginald, 
son of Somerled, who ruled over 
part of the Isles from 1164 to 1204:, 
and who was supposed to be de- 
scended, through CoUa Uais, from 
Conn of the Hundred Battles, one 
of the traditionary kings of Ii'e- 



Profitable to me was my visit yonder, 
joyous, diademed, brown head ; 
Thy shoulder, noble king of Seghais 
Were to me equal to this gold. 


On my going from thy good house. 
My alms were not pitiful alms ; 
No better king's house canst thou go to ; 
Long life to the bright race of Godfrey. 


son of Godfrey of Mull's field 
Our attention shall thy fields retain ; 
Spoils to the shores of thy house bear thou, 
From the bright-barbed Traigh-bhaile.^'^ 


" It is doubtful whether the Ossi- was also grandfather of the other 

anic hero can be referred to here, or Eeginald, whose mother was his 

in St. 46. He never appears in Irish daughter. 

poetry under the form of Fiouugall, n Reginald, son of Somerled, was 

but sunply Fioun. Fionugall was a supposed to be descended from a 

name applied totheNorwegians, and certain Gofraidh, son of Fergus, 

to the land they occupied. Hence lo t> i at 

1 r 4., T 1 11 J ■ ^- Perhaps Morvaren. 
the Lord oi the Isles was called m 

poetry ' Ri Fhionngall,' from the '' ^^^^ celebrated Cow of Gaibh- 

Islands having belonged to the Nor- ^^^ ^^^ ^'^'^^^- ^^^ '^'"'''^' ''•^^''"'' 

weeians ^ Masters, note to A. m. .3330. 

1'^ Olaf Bitling, grandfather of " One of Cuchulain's horses. 

Reginald, son of Godred ; but he ^'' Dundalk strand. 




The haill lies of Scotland were devidit iu four pairts of auld, 
viz. Lewis, Sk}', Mule, and Yla, and the remanent haill lies 
Avere reknit but as pertinents and pendicles of the said four 
lies, and were devidit amangis thir four lies and annext 
thairto in this manner. First to the He of Lewis wes annext 
the lies of Wist, Barra, Harragis, Ronalewis, Pabla in Harreik, 
Helsker, Collismown, and lit. 

To the He of Sky were annext liaarsa, Eg, Romb, Canna, 
Elian na muck, and Scalpa. 

Perteining to the He of Mule were Lismoir, Tuahannais, 
Ulloway, Commatra, Inschkennycht, Sanct Colmisinche alias 
Colmkill, Tireich, and Coll. 

And to the fourth He of Yla wes conjoynit the lies of 
Dewra alias Jura, Colonsa, Geiga, Eauchlyne, Seillonyng, Scarba. 

But now thir lies are becum under sundrie mens dominions, 
quhairthrow thai answer not to the saids four principall lies, 
yit thai keip the lawis and uses of the samine for the maist pairt, 
and speciallie of thair yeirlie dewties, as heireftir shall be 
declairit. Be thir lies foirsaids thair is mony small Hands and 
Inches in Scotland, quhairof the names are not publist, nor yit 
in reputation, but worthie of habitation or descryving, quhair- 
throw we omitt the samyn quhill thai be better inhabite and 
esteimit of. 

Thair is also ane Ness passand southwest fra the lands of 
Ardmwrche, quhilk Ness is called Romwrche (Point of Ardna- 
murchan), and divides thir haill lies in twa ; viz. in South and 
North lies, viz. the lies of Yla and Mule with thair saids 
pertinents, lyand fra the said Ness to the south, and the lies of 
Lewis and Sky to the north. 


The first He callit Lewis is conjoynit with Harreik, but the 
sea cummis almaist betwix thame, saifand ane small grip of the 
lenth of twa or thrie pair of buttis, quhilk narrow grip is haldin 
the march betwix the lies of Lewis and Herreis. They are 
baith 40 miles of lenth, quhairof Lewis is 32 miles, and Herreis 
8 miles. The pairt of this He that is callit Lewis perteins to 
McCloyd Lewis. His kin are callit Clan Leod, alias callit Sheill 
Torquill, that is, the offspring of that man namet Torquill. His 
pi'incipall place thair is callit the Castell of Steornoay, and he 
may raise on this pairt of this He callit Lewis 700 men with 
Rona, by thame that labours the ground, of the quhilkis nane 
are chairgit or permittit to gang to ony oisting or weiris in all 
the haill lies, but are commandit to remane at hame to labour 
the ground. 

This He of Lewis is very profitable and fertile alswell of 
corns as all kind of bestiall wild fowl and fishes, and speciallie 
of beir, sua that thair will grow commonlie 20, 18, or at the 
leist 16 bolls beir yeirlie eftir ilk bolls sawing. It is 40 lb. land 
of auld extent and payis yeirlie 18 score chalders of victuall, 58 
score of ky, 32 score of wedderis, and ane great quantitie of 
fisches, pultrie, and quhyte plaiding by thair Cuidichies, that is, 
feisting thair master quhen he pleases to cum in the cuntrie, ilk 
ane thair nicht or twa nichtis about, according to thair land and 

Thair is na great waters nor rivers in this He, but small 
schaule burnis quhairby the salmond and uther fishes swymmino- 
thairupon will appear twa pairt dry for fault of water to cover 
thame, and are slane with treis and bastonnis, and hes na uthir 
craft nor ingyne to slay thame. Thair is na woods in the Lewis, 
but ane great wildernes or forest callit Osirsdaill, quhairin is 
sustenit niony deir, thairfor it is pleasant hunting. 

In this He thair is ane little Cove biggit in form of ane kirk, 
and is callit the Pygmies Kirk. It is sa little, that ane man 
may scairslie stand uprichtlie in it eftir he is gane in on his 
kneis. Thair is sum of the Pygmies banes thairinto as yit, of 
the quhilkis the thrie banes being measurit is not fullie twa 
inches lang. 

The uther pairt of this He callit Harrayis perteins to McCloyd 
Harreis. His kin and surname is callit Sheall Tormoyd, that is. 


the offspring of that man callit Tornioyd, and albeit this man 
McCloyd hes landis, as ye shall heir heireftir, and that his prin- 
cipal! place callit Dunvegane be in the He of Sky, yit he is stylit 
he this lie of Herreis. He may raise seven score of able men. 
This He of Herries is also fertile, commodious, and profitable in 
all sorts effeirand to the quantitie thairof as the He of Lewis. 
Thair is nather woods, great waters, nor rivers thairin, but small 
burnis as in the He of Lewis, and the people thairof as unskilfull 
in slaying of the fishes and salmond that cummis as thair neigh- 
bours are. 

Thair is ane fair forrest called Otterisdaill in this He, quhairin 
is mony deer and thairthrow pleasand hunting, albeit it be but 
20 merk land of auld extent. This He pay is 3 bolls malt and 3 
bolls meill for ilk day in the yeir, 40 mairtis and eight score 
wedderis, by customs, pultrie, meill, with oist silver. 

The He of Wist is 40 miles of length, but of small breid, 
and the north pairt thairof perteins to ane clan callit Clandoneill, 
the south pairt thairof to Clan Ranald. The haill is reknit to 
be sevenscore merk land, quhairof the Clan Doneill hes three- 
score merk land, and the Clan Eanald fourscore merk land. The 
Clan Doneill on thair pairt thairof will raise 300 men, and the 
Clan Ranald on thair pairt thairof will raise 300 men, Thair 
is na woods nor great rivers in it, but thair is mony deir in it. 
Hk merk land in this He payis 20 bolls victuall, by all uther 
customes, maills, and oist silver, quhairof thair is na certane 
rentall. The customes of this He are splendit, and payit at the 
Landslordis cumming to the He to his Cudicht. 

The He of Barra perteins to McNeill Barra. His surname 
and kin are callit Clan Neill. His principall dwelling-place thair 
is callit Keissadull, quhilk is ane excellent strenth, for it standis 
on the seaside under ane great craig, sua that the craig cummis 
over it, and na passage to the place but be the sea, quhairof the 
entrie is narrow, but that ane scheip may pass throw, and within 
that entres is an round heavin and defence for schi})pis from all 
tempestis. This He is five miles of lenth or thairbj', and is 20 lb. 
land, and may raise on this He, with four or five small Hes that 
he hes beside it, 200 gude men. Item, in this He is ane Aveill 
quhairin growis cockles, quhilk is at the fute of ane hill callit 
the Hill of Barra, twa mile fra the sea. 


Roiia^ (Bernera) Lewis is ane He of four mile long perteining 
to McCloycI Lewis, and it is 80 merk land. It payis 120 bolls 
victuall yeirly by all uther customes and maillis. It is verie 
fertile of corns and store of gudes and quhyte fisclies, but saltis 
na fisches, but eittis tliair staiking and castis the rest on the 
land, and will raise 60 men. 

Pabba is ane little He ane mile lang. It perteins to McCloyd 
Hereik, and albeit it be but twa merk land, it payis yeirlie 60 
bollis victuall, and will raise 40 gude men to the weiris. Ber- 
nera^ (Eona) is ane uther little He of the lyk quantitie and pay- 
ment, perteining to McCloyd Hereik. 

Helsker is ane gude, commodious, and fertile He, alsweill of 
gudes as of corns ; for albeit it be but ane mile lang and ane 
merk land of auld extent, it payis yeirlie to the monasterie of 
Colmkill, to quhom it apperteins, 60 bollis victuall by uther 
customes. It is possesst evir by ane gentill man of the Clan- 
donald. Thair is nather moss nor woods in this He, but all 
manurit arable land. It will raise 20 or 24 men. 

Colsmon is but ane little He of ane quarter mile lang and als 
mekell breid, quhairin is na inhabite nor manurit land, but lyes 
waist. Mony fisches resortis and hantis thairto and generis 
within the same ; and the principall man of the north end of 
Wyist, Avha is ane of the Clandoneill (as said is), passes with ane 
number of men in cumpanie anes in the yeir to this He, and slayis 
and talds sa many as they please of the seiches, and careyis aM^ay 
with thame. 

Irt (St. Kilda) is ane little He of ane mile lang, perteining to 
McCloyd Hereik. It is maist fertile of scheip and foullis, quhairof 
it payis ane great matter yeirlie to the said McCloyd and his Vic- 
tors. And albeit thay use na pleuchis, but delvis thair corn land 
with spaiddis, yet thai pay yeirlie 60 bollis victuall. Thair is 
na horse nor meiris in this He, and but few nolt to the number 
of 60 or thairby. Thair cummis na men furth of this He to 
oisting or weiris, becaus they are but a poor barbarous people 
unexpert that dwellis in it, useand na kind of wappinis ; but thair 
day lie exercitation is maist in delving and labouring the ground, 
taking of foullis and gaddering thair eggis, quhairon thay leif for 
the maist pairt of thair fude. Thay make na labour to obtene 
or slay ony fisches, but gadderis sum in the craigis, albeit thai 


luicht have abundance tliairof utherwayis gif thai wald ony way 
make labour thairfore. Anes in the yeir ane Priest or Minister 
cummis to tliame and baptizes all the bairnis born amangis thame 
sin his last being thair, and celebrattis marriage to the i:)arteis 
desyrand, and makes sic uther ministration of the sacraments to 
thame as he thinkis gude, and gifis thame sic directiounis as he 
wills thame to use and keip for ane yeir thairefter, and gadderis 
payment of thair teinds (quhilk thai pay maist thankfullie and 
justlie of ony people), and departs quhill the next yeir agane. 
In all times thai sustenit ane auld priest or clerk continuallie 
amangis thame, to shaw and tell to thame the halie dayis to be 
keipit in the yeir. 

The He of Sky is ane He 40 mile lang and alsmuckle of breid. 
swa that it is almaist round. It perteinit all haill in auld times 
to McConneill, but now be his disposition thair is divers heritors 
of sundrie pairts thairof, the maist thereof extending to 80 merk 
land lyand almaist in the middis of the He caleit Trouternes, and 
30 merk land lyand at the south pairt of the He quhilk is caleit 
Slait. It pertenis to Scheall Hutcheoun, that is to say, the off- 
spring of that man callit Hutcheoun, but his priucipall surname 
is Clandoneill. 

Trouternes payis yeirlie ilk merk land thairof twa bollis meill, 
twa bollis malt, four mairtis, 16 wedderis, 16 dozen of pultrie, 
twa merks by the auld maills and utheris dewteis accustomat. 
Thair was ane castell in Trouternes callit Duncolmen, quhairof 
the wallis standis yit. 

Slait is occupiet for the maist pairt be gentlemen, thairfore 
it payis but the auld deuteis, that is, of victuall, buttir, cheis, 
wyne, aill, and aquavite, samekle as thair maister may be able 
to spend being ane nicht (albeit he were 600 men in companie) 
on ilk merk land. There is twa strenthie castells in Slait, the 
ane callit Castell Chammes, the uther Dunskeith. Trouternes 
will raise 500 men, and Slait 700 men, Ane pairt of this He 
of Sky callit Strath vardeill pertenis to ane Laird callit McKynvin, 
given to him be McConneill for to be judge and decide all ques- 
tionnis and debaitts that happenis to fall betwin pairties throw 
playing at cairtis or dyce or sic uther pastime, and will raise 
aucht score men. McKynvin lies a castell thair callit Dewnakin. 
McCloyd Lewis hes 20 merk land in this He callit Watternes, 


quliairon he will raise 200 men. McCIoyd Herreis lies three 
cun tries iu this He, the first callit Durenes quhilk is 28 merk 
land, and will raise twelf score men, quhairin he lies ane stren- 
thie dwelling place. The second callit Bracadale, quhilk is 1 6 
merk land, and will raise sevin score men. Thair is mony woods 
ill all pairtis of this He of Sky, speciallie birkis and orne ; but 
the maist wood is in Slait and Trouternes. Tliair is ane wood 
in Slait, of audit mile of lenth, with mony deer and rae, and it 
is verie fertile, with all kinds of bestiall and corns. Thair is 
great j^lentie of salmond and hering tane in this He. Thair is 
mony locliis in this He, and speciallie in Strathvardill, quhilk 
is callit Loch Slepan, Loch na Neist, and Loch na Daill. Betwixt 
Trouternes and Strathtodill lyes ane loch callit Loch Sleggasthe. 
Raarsa is ane He of five mile lang and tlirie mile braid, per- 
teining to the Bischop of the Hes ; but it is occupiet and possest 
be ane gentleman of McCloyd Lewis kin, callit Gillechallum Raarsa. 
His offspring bruikis the same yit, and are callit Clan Gille- 
halluni of Raarsa. He hes ane strange little castell in this He, 
biggit on the heid of ane heicli craig, and is callit Prokill. It is 
but 8 merk land, and will raise 80 men. It payis yeirlie to the 
bischop 1 6 merks, but to the capitaine thairof it payis of sundrie 
tributes better nor 500 m^ks. Thair is na woods, but great 
heich craigis in this He. It is commodious for corn and all kinds 
of bestiall, and chieflie horses. 

Eg is ane He verie fertile and commodious baitli for all kind 
of bestiall and corns, speciallie aittis, for eftir everie boll of aittis 
sawing in the same ony yeir will grow 10 or 1 2 bollis agane. It 
is 30 merk land, and it perteins to the Clan Rannald, and will 
raise 60 men to the weiris. It is five mile lang and three mile 
braid. Thair is mony coves under the earth in this Be, quhilk 
the cuntrie folks uses as strenthis hiding thanie and thair geir 
thairintill; quhairthrow it hapenit that in March, anno 1577, 
weiris and inmitie betwix the said Clan Renald and McCloyd 
Herreik, the people with ane callit Angus John McMudzartsonne, 
their capitane, fled to ane of the saidis coves, taking with tliame 
thair wives, bairnis, and geir, quliairof McCloyd Herreik being 
advertisit landit with ane great armie in the said He, and came 
to the cove and pat fire thairto, and smorit the liaill people thairin 
to the number of 395 persones, men, Avyfe, and bairnis. 
VOL. IIJ. 2 E 


Romb is ane lie of small profit, except that it conteins mony 
(leir, and for sustentation thairof the same is pormittit unlabourit, 
except twa townis. It is tliric miles of leuth, and alsmekle of 
breid, and all hillis and waist glennis, and commodious only for 
Imnting of deir. It perteinis heretablie to ane Barron callit the 
Laird of Challow (Coll), (piha is of McClanes kin, but is possest 
and in the handis of Clan-llannald. It is ten mei'k land, and 
will raise 6 or 7 men. 

Canna. This He is jiude baitli for corn and all kind of 
bestiall. It perteius to the Biscliop of the lies, but the said 
Clan-Rannald hes it in possessioun. It is thrie mile lang and 
ane bi-aid. It is six merk land and will raise 20 men. In this 
Tie is ane heich craig callit Corignan weill braid on the heicht 
thairof, and but ane strait passage, that men may scairslie climb 
to the held of the craig, and quhan the cuntrie is invadit the 
people gadderis thair wives and geir to the heid of the craig and 
defend thame selfis utherwayis the best thay may, and will not 
pass to the craig, because it may not be lang keepit onlie for 
fault of water. 

Elian na Muk is but ane little He of ane mile lang and half 
mile braid. It perteins also to the foirsaid Bischop, and is 
possesst be the Laird of Ardinmwrtlie callit Maken. It is four 
merk laiid, and payis to the said Laird and his factors aucht 
score bollis victuall, quhairof four score to the Bischop and four 
score to the Laird. It will raise to the weiris 16 able men. 

Scalpa is four merk land perteining heritablie to McClane, 
gevin to him be McConneill. It is thrie mile lang, twa mile 
braid, mair fertile and commodious for deir and hunting nor it 
is ather for corns or store. It will raise 20 men. 

Mule. This He is 24 mile of lenth and in sum pairtis IG 
mile braid, and in uther pairtis thairof but 12 mile braid. It is 
all 300 merk land, and will raise 900 men to the weiris. 
McClane Doward, callit Great McClane, hes the maist pairt 
thairof, extending to aucht score merk land and ten, and will 
I'aise on it with the pairt he hes of the Bischop 600 men thair- 
upon. McClane of Lochbuy hes thriescore merk land, and will 
raise 200 men thairon. The Bischop hes 30 merk land thair, 
but McClane Doward hes it in his possession occupiet be his 
kin. The Laird of McKynvin hes 20 merk land, and the uthir 20 


merk land pertenis to the Laird of Scliellow (Coll) but thay will 
raise 100 thairon. Thair is mony woods and saltwater lochis in 
this He, and it is verie plentiful! of all kind of fisches, speciallie 
hering and salmond. It is na less commodious for guides and 
store nor ony of the remanent lies ; but not sa gude for cornes. 
In everie jjairt thairof are mony deiris, raes, and wild foullis. 
McClane of Doward hes twa castellis in this He, the ane named 
Doward, the uther callit Aross, quhilk sumtime perteinit to 
McConneill. McCIane of Lochbuy hes ane castell thairintill 
callit the Castell of Lochinbuy. Ilk merkland in this He payis 
yeirlie 5 bollis beir, 8 bollis meill, 20 stanes of cheese, 4 stanes 
of buttir, 4 mairtis, 8 wedderis, twa merk of silver, and twa 
dozen of pultrie, by Cuddiche, quhanevir thair master cumniis 
to thame. 

Lismoir is ane He of audit mile lang lairge, and twa mile 
breid. It is 80 merk land of auld, and pertenit sumtime to 
McConneill, but now to my Lord Argile the twa pairt thairof, 
and the third pairt thairof to the Laird of Glenurquhir. McCowle 
of Lorn hes the stewardship) of the haill He and manrent thairof, 
and will raise thairon to ony weir 100 men. It is very fertile 
for all kind of corns and speciallie for beir, and will grow 
alsmekle eftir ane boll sawing as in the Lewis or ony pairt thair 
with less gudeing or labour ; for in mony pairtis thairof are 
great mosses, and thay will cast ane fowssie or stank throw the 
ane pairt of the moss, quhairby the water may easier pass away, 
and teillis syne the remanent of the moss, sa far at the leist as 
becumis dry be vertue of the fowssie castin, and takis it that 
thai cast out of the fowssie and guidis the teillit earth thairwith, 
and thairon will grow the best beir in the lies, of sic quantitie 
that I think shame to write it, albeit that I have honest authors 
to affirm the same. It is plane land without ony woodis or 
hillis, but all manurit land and moss. It is commodious also for 
nolt and horses, but best for cornes. It is gude for saltwater 
fisches, and na uther. It has na set rentall of dewtie, because it 
is everie yeir alterit or set. Thair is twa castellis thairin upon 
the pairt perteining to my Lord Argile, ane callit Dunnagaill, 
but it is not mantenit, albeit it wes of auld ane great strenth 
for saltwater fisches, ane uther callit the castell of Auchindewne, 
upon the west side thairof anent the Mule, quhilk wes biggit be 


ane Bischop of tlie lies. On the utlier Laird Gl('iiuiquliiit& 
})aii't tliairof wes aiu; auld castill callit Bealwothar, l)ut is not 

The twa lies callit the Hwnayis, the ane thairof and maist 
pertenis to ane kinsman of the said McCoule of Lorn. It is 
twa mile lang and ane braid, ane j^lane land but ony hills, but 
all arable land, moss and birkin wood, quhairthrow it is onlie 
gude for corn, nolt, and horse ; it is 8 merk land. The uther 
pertenis to John Stewart of Hoping (Appin); it is ane mile lang 
and half mile braid ; it is four merk land. The said John 
Stewart hes it all under maynes, and cpihan he settis the same 
it payis six score bollis victuall, by all uther dewties. Baitli 
thir lies will raise three score men. 

Ulloway is ane He twa mile lang, ane mile braid. It is 
twelf merk land perteining to McCower (McQuarrie). It is 
l)lane land but ony hillis or woodis, and will raise thrie score 
men. Ilk merk land payis conform to the He of Mule. 

Coamatra is ane He of ane mile lang conteinand but twa 
towns. It is four merk land, and pertenis to McClane of Dowart ; 
it is plane, fair, and verie commodious for corns and catell of sa 
mekle. It payis yeirlie as Mule payis. It will raise IG or 20 

Inschenycht (Inchkenneth) is ane He perteining to the said 
McClane, of a lyke lenth, balding payment and commodities in- 
all sortis as the said He of Coamatra. 

Sanct Colms Inche (lona) is ane He ane mile lang, large half 
mile braid, but is 30 merk land. In this He is the Bischop of the 
lies principall dwelling places. Thair is twa religious places — 
ane thairof for monkis, ane uther for nunnes. In this He is the 
sepulchre of all the kingis of Scotland of auld. It is verie com- 
modious for corns and catell, but na woodis nor mosses, quhair- 
throw thai are scant of fire, but that that cummis to thame furth 
of other lies be sea. In this are all the Gentlemen of the lies 
buryit as yit. 

Collow (Coll) is ane He of 1 2 mile of lenth, 4 or 6 mile of 
breid in sum pairtis thairof. It is 30 merk land, and pertenis 
to the Laird of Collow, quhairin he hes ane castell callit Bre- 
kauche, quhilk is ane great strenth be reason of the situation 
thairof verie neir to the sea, quhilk defendis the half thairof, and 


lies three walls about the rest of the castell and thairof biggit 
with lyme and stane, with sundrie gude devises for defending of 
the tower. Ane uther wall about tliat, within the quhilk schippis 
and boittis are drawin and salvit. And the third and the utter- 
most wall of tj^mber and earth, within the quhilk the haill gudes 
of the cuntrie are keipit in tyme of troublis or weiris. It is very 
fertile alsweill of corns as of all kind of catell. Thair is sum 
little birkin woodis Avithin the said lie. Ilk merk land payis 
yeirlie as is declarit of the He of Mule, and will raise seven score 

Tierhie (Tiree) is ane He of audit mile of lenth, and in sum 
pairtis but thrie mile braid, and at the braidest is six mile braid. 
But it is commodious and fertile of corns and store of gudes. It is 
140 merk land, and will raise to the weiris 300 men. It pertenis 
to great McClane of Doward, gevin to him be McConneill. It 
was callit in all tymes McConnells girnell ; for it is all teillit 
land, and na girs but ley land, quhilk is maist nurischand girs of 
ony other, quhairthrow the ky of this He abundis sa of milk that 
thai are milkit four times in the day. The yeirlie deAvtie thairof 
is sa great of victuall, buttir, cheis, mairtis, wedderis, and other 
customes, that it is uncertain to the inhabitants thairof quliat, 
thai should pay, but obeyis and payis quhatevir is cravet be thair 
maister for thair haill deuties, only to tak sa mony firlotts as 
micht stand side be side' round about the haill He full of victual], 
lialf meill, half beir, and it wes refuseit. 

Ha is ane He of 24 mile lang and twenty mile braid. It is 1 S 
score merk land, and will raise 800 men. McClane of Doward 
lies the half thairof, and the other half pertenis to ane of the 
Clan Donald cum of McConneills house. This He is plenteous 
of woodis, quhairin are mony deir, raes, and wild foullis. It is 
also commodious for all kinds of fisches, and speciallie salmond, 
be reason of diverse rivers rynuand throw the same, quhairin 
swymes not only mony salmond, but in all the small burnis of 
this He are multipill of salmond and other fisches. McClane lies 
ane strenthie castell thairin, cjuhilk standis in ane niche within 
ane fresche-water loch callit Lochgormen ; the uther castell per- 
tenis to the Cland-donald, it is callit Downerie. Ilk merk land 
in this He payis yeirlie three mairtis and ane half, 14 wedderis, 
2 geis, 4 dozen and 8 pultrie, 5 bollis malt with ane peck to 


ilk boll, G bollis meill, 20 stane of cheis, and twa merk of silver. 
And ilk merk land man sustein daylie and yeirlie anc gentleman 
in meit and claitli, quhilk dois na labour, but is haldin as ane of 
their maisters household men, and man be sustenit and furneisit 
in all necessaries be the tennent, and he man be reddie to his 
maisters service and advis. Ilk town in this He is twa merk land 
and ane half, and pay is yeirlie of Gersum at Beltane four ky with 
calf, four zowis with lamb, four geis, nine hennis, and 1 Os, of silver. 

Jura, alias Deura, is 24 mile lang, and 8 mile braid quhair 
it is braidest. It is 30 merk land. The half pairt thairof per- 
tenis to the said McClane, and the uther half to the Clan Donald. 
The haill will raise, with the He of Scarba (quhilk is baith but 
ane parochin), 100 men. Sa mekle as is labourit and teillit of 
this He is excellent land, and verie fertile for corns ; but it is 
for the maist pairt wildernes and woodis, quhairin is mony deir, 
raes, and other wild beistis, quhairthrow thair is better hunting 
in this He nor ony of the rest. Sa mekle labourit land as is in 
this He, it payis alike to Ha of dewties. 

Collonsa and Orandsay are baith ane He, except that the full 
sea of the flwde flowis in betwix thame. Collonsa is 18 mile of 
lenth and five mile braid. It is 30 merk land, and pertenis to 
the Laird thairof callit Makasie (Macduffy), ane dependar on the 
Clan Donald. Orandsay is but ane mile of lenth, and alsmekle 
of breid. It is 4 merk land, quhairin is but ane town, quhilk is 
an abbay place dedicat to St. Columb, it pertenis to the Bischop 
of the lies. Thir twa lies Avill raise 100 men, and payis accord- 
ing to the He of Ha. Na woodis nor wildernes is in thir Isles, 
but all teillit land. 

Seill is ane He of 5 mile lang, thrie mile braid, and is three- 
score merk land. It pertenis to the Earle of Argile, and will raise 
thairon six score men. It is all plane nianurit land, but ony 
wildernes or woodis, quhairby it is verie fertile of store and 
corns and payis zeirlie conform as we have spoken before of the 
He of Lismoir. 

Loyng is ane little He thrie mile lang, twa myle braid, and 
is fourty merk land. It pertens heritablie to my Lord Argile, 
but McClane Doward lies it of my Lord Argile for service. This 
He payis zeirlie of mairtis and ferme as Lismoir and Seill payis. 

Scarba is ane He thrie mile lane: and twa mile breid. It is 


i merk land, and pertenis to McClane of Lochbuy in heritage. 
It is all woodis and craigis, except twa tounis, and thairfore it is 
better for sustentation of bestiall nor for cornes. It payis zeirlie 
.samekle as is labourit thairof, as the remanent lies payis, and 
will raise 17 men. 

Geiza (Gigha) is ane He of five mile Uuig, twa mile braid, 
and is 30 merk land ; it pertenis to the Clan Donald. It is 
very plane, profitable, and fertile land for all kind of corns, but 
any woodis, hillis, or craigis ; and ilk merkland thairof payis as 
Ila payis, except in mairtis and wedderis, because it is not gude 
for store. It will raise 100 men. 

Rauchlynne is an He five mile lang, thrie or four mile braid ; 
it is 30 merk land. It pertenis to the Clan Donald, and is but 
four mile of sea fra Irland. It is fair, fertile, and profitable 
baitli for girs and corn, with sum grene hillis in it, and na woodis 
nor craigis. Thairfore thair zeirlie dewtie is conform to use and 
consuetude of Ireland, quhilk is to sustein ane number of men in 
meit and fie, and payis ane certane quantitie of all kind of thing 
that growis amangis thame anes in the yeir to thair maister, and 
sum taxations as thair maister happens to have ado, and may 
raise 100 men. Thair is ane auld castell, verie strenthie, callit 
the Auld Castell. 

Thair is twa lies that pertenis to thir saids four lies named 
Arran and Boyd (Bute). Arran is 24 miles lang, 12 and 8 miles 
in sum pairtis braid, and is 300 merk land, perteining to my Lord 
Hamiltoun, quhairin is twa castells. Arran will raise 100 men. 
Boyd is aucht mile lang, four mile braid, quhairin stands ane 
great Burrowstown callit Eosa. It will raise 300 men, and. is 
of na less commoditie and profit nor Arran. 

Thir haill lies abovewritten, gif thai were on ane end, are 
fourteen score and twelve mile of lenth and miles of 

breid. The common accustomat of raising of thair men is 6000 
men, quhairof the 3d pairt extending to 2000 men aucht and 
sould be cled with attounes and haberchounis, and knapshal 
bannetts, as thair lawis beir. And in raising or furthbringing 
of thair men ony time of yeir to quhatsumevir cuntrie or weiris, 
na labourers of the ground are permittit to steir furth of the 
cuntrie quhatevir thair maister have ado, except only gentlemen 
quhilk labouris not, that the labour belonging to the teiling 



of tlie ground and wj'niiing of thair corns may not be left 
undone, albeit thai byde furth une haill zeir, as ofttimes it 
happins quhen ony of thair particular Hands hes to do with 
Irland or neighbours, that the haill cuntriemen bides furth 
watching thair enemies ane zeir, half ane zeir, or thairby, as thai 
please. Not the les the gi'ound is not the war labourit, nor 
the occupiers thairof are nather molestit, requirit, troublit, nor 
permittit to gang furth of thair awin cuntrie and He quhair 
thay dwell. 



' This description must have been 
written between 1577 and 1595, as 
the former date is mentioned in con- 
nection with the cruel slaughter of 
the inhabitants of Egg by the Mac- 
leods, and John Stewart of Appin, 
who died in 1595, is mentioned as 
alive at the time it was written. It 
has all the appearance of an official 
report, and was probably intended 

for the use of James the Sixtli, wlio 
was then preparing to attempt the 
improvement of the Isles, and in- 
crease the royal revenue from them. 
See Gregory's History of the Hir/h- 
la/tds and Islands, ch. vl. 

" The names of Rona and Bernera 
have been here misplaced. The 
larger island is obviously Bernera, 
and the smaller Rona. 



have been granted by King William the Lion to the Earl 
of Mark in IITL^ 

This deed was first made known by the learned antiquar}- 
John Selden, who printed it in liis 'Titles of Honor' (p. 700) 
to illustrate his remarks upon the title of Thane. It is in the 
form of letters patent, and not of a charter ; and is addressed bj^ 
William, King of Scots, to all bishops, earls, abbots, priors, 
barons, knights, thanes, and provosts, and all other good men of 
the whole land, as well cleric as laic. It then narrates that 
Morgund, son of Gillocher, formerly Earl of Marr, had come 
before the king at Hindhop Burnemuthe, in his new forest, on 
the tenth day of the calends of June, in the year of grace 1171, 
demanding his right to the whole earldom of Marr, before the 
common council and army of the kingdom of Scotland there 
assembled : that the king had caused inquisition to be made into 
his claim by several men worthy of credit, Avho were barons and 
thanes of his k'ingdom, and who found that Morgund was the 
lawful son and heir of the said Gillocher, Earl of Marr ; upon 
which the king granted and restored to Morgund the whole earl- 
dom of Marr, in which his father Gillocher had died vest and 
seized, to be held by the said Morgund and his heirs of the king 
and his heirs in fee and heritage, with all pertinents, liberties, 
and rights, as freely, quietly, fully, and honourably as any other 
earl in the kingdom of Scotland ; he and his heirs rendering to 
the king and his heirs the ' forinsecum servicium videlicet ser- 
vicium Scoticanum,' as his ancestors had been wont to render to 
the king and his ancestors. Further, on the same day and at 
the same place, after doing homage before the common council 
of the kingdom, the said Morgund demanded that right should 
be done him for the whole earldom of Moray, in wliich Gillocher 


liis father had died vest and seized ; upon which petition, inqui- 
sition having been made by several men worthy of credit, who 
were barons, knights, and thanes of the kingdom, they found 
that ]\[orgund was the true and lawful heir of the earldom of 
Moray ; and because at that time the king was engaged in the 
heavy war between him and the English, and the men of Moray 
could not be subjected to his will, he was unable to do justice 
to Morgund, he promised that, when he could terminate the war 
between him and his enemies, and subjugate the rebels of Moray, 
he would well and truly recognise the right of INIorgund and his 
heirs to the earldom of Moray. And in order to certiorate to 
others this deed, the king gave these letters patent to the said 
Morgund. They then conclude with these words : ' Teste 
meipso eodem anno die et loco supradicto.' This is undoubtedly 
a very remarkable production, if genuine ; and Selden adds : ' I 
have it writ in jiarchment in a hand of the time Avherein it is 
dated, but without any seal to it.' It is referred to by Lord 
Hailes in his additional case for the Countess of Sutherland, 
without any doubt being expressed as to its authenticity; and 
no suspicion seems to have attached to it till the late George 
Chalmers assailed it in 1819 in a paper printed in the nineteenth 
volume of the ' Archceologia ' (p. 241). In this paper he pro- 
poses to show that this document is supposititious. He states 
his objections to it under nine heads, and concludes that Selden 
had been imposed upon with a spurious deed. His first objection 
relates to the orthography of the document ; the second to the 
formula of the address ; the third to the history of the earldom ; 
the fourth to the minuteness of the date ; the fifth to the reserved 
services ; the sixth to the claim to the earldom of Moray ; the 
seventh to the allusion to the war with England ; the eighth to 
the form of letters patent ; and the ninth to the words ' teste 
meipso,' which is peculiar to letters patent as distinguished from 
charters, which at this period invariably have a list of witnesses. 
The form 'teste meipso ' first occurs, he saj's, in 1190. 

Professor Cosmo Innes, in his preface to the first volume of 
the 'Acts of Parliament,' alludes to this document, 'the 
authenticity of which,' he says, ' however, is very doubtful : ' 
and he prints it in a note with the following remarks : ' Selden's 
authority is not lightly to be rejected ; and some of the reasons 


against the genuineness of this charter, urged by the late Mr. 
Chalmers in a paper in the " Archseologia," founded on the spelling, 
etc., are of no weight. But it is open to serious objections, 
\\ hether we consider the narrative or the occasion, and the time 
and place of its granting and the manner of testing. For instance, 
it is almost certain that in 1171 there was no war with England. 
On the other hand, it is difficult to devise a motive for inventing 
such a document. If it should be considered a very early forgery 
it is scarcely less important than if admitted to be genuine' 
(p. 13). Professor Innes's authority on such a question is of 
course very great ; and not less so is that of the late Dr. Joseph 
Robertson. He says, in the ' Antiquities of the Shires of Aber- 
deen and Banff,' vol. iv. p. 691, that 'Earl Morgund is said to 
have been the son of Gillocher, Earl of Marr. But this rests 
only on the letters patent of King William the Lion, first printed 
by Selden, which I think it is impossible to receive as authentic. 
The facts which they set forth may perhaps be true in part, but 
as a whole I don't see how they are to be reconciled with what 
is elsewhere recorded on undoubted authority. Nor do I think 
tiiat the letters can be successfully defended from the objections 
to them on other grounds — such as their style, the time and 
place of granting, and the manner of testing. I must, therefore, 
believe them to be spurious. It is obvious, at the same time, 
that they were forged at an early period. The learned and 
accurate Selden thought them to be in a hand of the time, and 
they seem to be alluded to in the year 1291. They may have 
been forged at that time, or more probably during the contests 
for the earldom of Marr between the earl in possession and 
Thomas Durward before 1228, and between Earl William and 
Alan Durward in 1257. These contests supply what seems to 
have been thought Avanting — "a motive for inventing such a 
document." ' 

In the main I concur with the opinions of the late Professor 
Innes and Dr. Joseph Robertson, and especially Avith that of the 
latter, which shows his usual acuteness and sagacity. I consider 
that the first and second objections made by Chalmers have no 
weight. With regard to the third, which is that the deed is 
inconsistent witli the known history of the earldom, there is good 
reason for thinkiniir that some such transaction really took place ; 


for Sir Francis Palgrave prints, in his ' Documents and Records 
relating to tlie Aftairs of Scotland,' preserved in the Treasury of 
Her Majesty's Exchequer, an ai)peal prepared in the name of the 
seven eai'ls of Scotland, and of the community of the realm, to 
Edward the First of England, which concludes with the following 
memorandum : ' That when William, King of Scotland, restored 
to Morgund, son of Gyloclery, the predecessor of the Lord 
Dovenald, Earl of Marr, this earldom of Marr, according as the 
same is contained in a writing Avhich Dovenald, Earl of Marr, 
l)Ossesses, there was Avanting then to the said INIorgund, and there 
is still wanting to the earl, three hundred pound land, partly in 
domain and partly in holdings and more, for which he claims 
that right should be done him' (Palgrave, p. 21). The Avriting 
here referred to seems to have been this very deed. The fourth 
and fifth objections have also no weight. Hindhop Burnemuthe 
is a hamlet on the coast about five or six miles south of Berwick, 
and there is no improbability in there having been a royal forest 
there while Northumberland belonged to the Scottish king. 
With regard to the sixth objection, that the Earl of Marr could 
have no claim to the earldom of Moray, the documents printed 
by Sir Francis Palgrave, in connection with the competition for 
the crown, do show that the Earl at that time did claim to repre- 
sent the earldom of Moray ; for in the same document Dovenald, 
Earl of Marr, appeals in name of himself as one of the seven 
earls of Scotland, and in name of the freemen of Moray, and the 
other relations, connections, and friends of the said Earl. But 
while I reject all these grounds of objection as not conclusive, I 
am obliged to admit that the seventh objection, which relates to 
the allusion to the war with England, and to insurrection in 
Moray, is fatal to the authenticity of the deed. The Avar Avith 
England did not commence till tAvo years afterAvards, in 1173 ; 
and the insurrection in jNloray broke out after the captivity of 
the king in 1174, and Moray continued in a state of rebellion 
from that year till 1181. But during the first eight years of 
King William's reign he Avas at peace with England, and there 
Avas no appearance of the royal authority not having been recog- 
nised in Moray. Unfortunately it is during this period that the 
supposed letters patent are dated. Then as to the last two 
objections, which relate to the form of the deed as letters patent, 


and form of the testing, ' teste meipso,' there is no instance, so 
f;ir as I am aware, of this form being used at as early a period as 
the reign of William the Lion. 

It is somewhat remarkable, that while these distinguished 
antiquaries were discussing the question of the authenticity of the 
letters patent as printed by Selden, it seems never to have 
occurred to any of them to endeavour to ascertain Avhat became 
of the original, which Selden said he possessed, and whether it 
might not be recovered. Selden left his papers to Sir Matthew 
Hale, and Hale left his to the benchers of Lincoln's Inn, by 
whom they were deposited in their library. The search was 
therefore not a difficult one, and on examining these papers the 
so-called original was at once found, which I have had photo- 
graphed by the autotype process. It is undoubtedly a very 
old document, but not so old as the reign of King William 
the Lion. The handwriting is, I think, that of the early part 
of the reign of King Alexander the Third, and it must have 
existed prior to the document printed by Sir Francis Palgrave 
already quoted. In this reign, too, there are frequent speci- 
mens of deeds in the form of letters patent witli the form 
of ' teste meipso.' Three of them are printed in the National 
MSS. of Scotland, Nos. 62, G3, and 64, and dated respectively 
in 1261, 1275, and 1282, and if the handwriting is compared 
it will be seen at once tliat this document belongs to the 
same period. The Earl of Marr at this time was William, 
grandson of Morgund by his son Duncan. He was one of the 
most powerful barons of Scotland at the time, and was cham- 
berlain of Scotland in 1252. He was one of those who were 
removed from the administration of affairs in Scotland at the 
instance of King Henry the Third of England in 1255, being 
replaced, among others, by Alan Durward. He was recalled to 
the king's council in 1257, and took a leading part in Scotland 
till the year 1273, when he appears to have died. Now we find 
that in 1257 a question was raised between Alan Durward and 
William, Earl of Marr, as to the right of the latter to the earl- 
dom. A papal rescript issued in that year, directing an inquest 
to be held, proceeds on the narrative that ' Our beloved son the 
nobleman Alan called the Dorrward hath signified to us that, 
whereas the nobleman William of Marr of the diocese of Aber- 


(leen hatli withhold the earldom of Marr of right belonging to 
the aforesaid Alan, and the same doth occupy to the prejudice of 
him the said Alan, and that Morgund and Duncan deceased, to 
whom the said William asserts his succession in the said earldom, 
were not begotten in lawful matrimony.' William, however, 
remained in possession, and certainly the production of a charter 
findino' that Morgund was the lawful son and heir of his father, 
and containing a grant of the earldom to him and his heirs, 
would be most opportune in determining this question, and, if a 
genuine deed of this kind did not exist, probably the earl would 
neither have much difficulty nor much scruple in producing one 
that would pass muster. If the letters patent are a forgery, I 
think it must have been manufactured about this time, and I am 
not sure that we have far to seek for the forger. A charter by 
William, Earl of Marr, confirming a grant by his grandfather, 
Morgund, in 1267, is witnessed among others by ' jNIagistro 
Ricardo Veyrement.' This Master Eichard Yeyrement was one 
of the canons of St. Andrews, and I have shoAvn in the introduc- 
tion to Fordun's Chronicle that he is probably the author of 
a ' Historia ' which existed in the Great Register of St. Andrews, 
now lost ; and the veritable Veremundus, from whom Hectoi- 
Boece says he derived a great part of his fabulous history. His 
connection with William, Earl of Marr, at this very time, and 
his witnessing a charter confirming a grant by that JNIorguud 
whose legitimacy Avas challenged, certainly leads to the suspicion 
that the clever manufacturer of these letters patent was no other 
than the arch-forger of the spurious history of Scotland, and that 
if he had not been unfortunate in the selection of his date, it 
might even now have escaped detection. 

The following is the text of the document : — 

Willielmus Rex Scotorumuniversis Episcopis Comitibus Abbatibus 
Prioribus Barouibus MiUtibus Thauis et Praepositis et omnibus aliis 
probis hominibus totius terrae suae tam clericis quam laicis salutem 
eternam in Domino : Sciatis presentes et futuri Morgundum filium 
Gillocheri quondam Comitis de Marre in mea praesentia veuisse apud 
Hindhop Burnemuthe, in mea nova foresta deciino kalendarum Juuij 
Anno Gratite MCLXXI. petendo jus suum de toto Comitatu de Marre, 
coram comnuini Consilio et exercitu Regni Scotiae ibidem congregate. 
Ego vero cupiens eidem IMorgundo et omnibus aliis jura facere secun- 


dum petitiouem suam jus suum inquisivi per multos viros fide diguos, 
videlicet per baronias et tlianos Regni mei per quam inquisitiouem in- 
veiii dictum Morgundum filium et haeredein legitimum dicti Gillocheri 
Comitis de Marre per quod concessi et reddidi eidem Morgundo totum 
Comitatum de Marre tanquani jus suum haereditarium sieut praedictus 
Gillocherus pater suus obiit vestitus et saisitus ; Tenendum et liaben- 
dum eidem Morgundo et ha^redibus suis de me et hseredibus meis in 
feodo et haereditate cum omnibus pertineutis libertatibus et rectitudiui- 
bus suis adeo libere quiete plenarie et honorifice sicut aliquis Conies in 
Regno Scotise liberius quietius plenarius et honorificentius tenet vel 
possidet ; Faciendo inde ipse et hseredes sui mihi et haeredibus meis 
forinsecum servicium videlicet Servicium Scoticanum sicut antecessores 
sui mihi et antecessoribus meis facere consueveruut. Eodem vero die 
et loco post homagium suum mihi factum coram communi Consilio 
Regni mei praedictus Morgundus petiit sibi jus fieri de toto Comitatu 
Moraviae de quo praedictus Gillocherus pater suus obiit vestitus et 
saisitus super qua petitione sua per quamplures viros fide dignos 
Barones Milites et Thanos Regni mei inquisitiouem facere feci et per 
illam inquisitiouem inveni dictum Morgundum verum et legitimum 
haeredem de comitatu Moravise et quod eodem tempore propter guerram 
inter me et Anglicos graviter fuissem occupatus et Moravienses pro 
voluntate mea non potuissem justificare dicto Morgundo nullum jus 
facere potui. Sed cum guerram inter me et adversaries meos com- 
plere et rebelles Moravienses superare potero et dicto Morgundo sibi 
et haeredibus suis i^romitto pro me et haeredibus meis fideliter et 
plenarie jus facere de toto comitatu Moraviae. Et ut hoc factum 
meum aliis certificaretur praadicto Morgundo has literas meas dedi 
Patentis. Teste me ipso eodem anno die et loco supra dicto. 


^ This paper was read to the So- sion, p. 603. The photograph of 

ciety of Antiquaries of Scotland on the Letters Patent was deposited 

the 8th of April 1878, and appears in their library, 
in their Proceedings for that Ses- 

-J 48 Al'l'ENDIX V 



The earldom of Caithness was possessed for many generations 
by the Norwegian Earls of Orkney. They held the Islands of 
Orkney under the King of Norway according to Norwegian 
custom, by which the title of Jarl or Earl was a personal title. 
They held the earldom of Caithness under the King of Scotland, 
and its tenure was in accordance with the laws of Scotland, 

We find from the Orkneyinga Saga that during this period 
the Orkney Islands were frequently divided into two portions, and 
each half held by different members of the Norwegian family, 
who each bore the title of earl. We likewise find that the earldom 
of Caithness was at such times also frequently divided, and each 
half held by different Earls of Orkney, though whether both bore 
the title of Earl of Caithness does not appear. 

It is unnecessary for our purpose to go further back than the 
rule of Thorfinn, Earl of Orkney, who died about A.D. 1056, and 
undoubtedly held the whole of the Orkneys and the entire earl- 
dom of Caithness for a long period. 

He had two sons, Paul and Erlend, who after his death ruled 
jointly without dividing the earldoms, and their descendants may 
be termed the line of Paul and the line of Erlend. 

After their death the islands were divided between Hakon, son 
of Paul, and Magnus, son of Erlend, each bearing the title of earl. 
The latter was the great earl known as St. Magnus. After his 
death, Earl Hakon appears to have possessed the whole. 

Earl Hakon had two sons, Harald Slettmali and Paul, who 
again divided the islands, each having an earl's title, but Earl 
Harald appears to have held the whole of Caithness from the 
King of Scots. On his death Earl Paul obtained possession of 
the whole. 

In the meantime the line of Erlend failed in the male line, 
in the person of Earl Magnus, but his sister Gunhild married a 


Norwegian called Kol, and had by him a son Kali, who claimed 
a share of the islands, when the King of Norway gave him the 
name of Roguwald, an earl's title, and divided the islands between 
him and Earl Paul. 

Earl Paul's sister Margaret had married Maddad, Earl of 
Atholl, and had by him a son Harald, and, by a revolution which 
took place. Earl Paul abdicated, and his nephew Harald was made 
earl in his place, and shared the islands with Earl Rognwald. 
The latter then went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and in his 
absence Malcolm i.v. made Erlend Ungi, son of Harald Slettmali, 
Earl of Caithness, and gave him half of Caithness, Earl Harald 
Maddadson having the other half. 

Earl Eognwald then returns, and on Erlend's death Orkney 
and Caithness were shared between him and Earl Harald. 

The line of Erlend again failed on the death of Earl Eognwald, 
who left an only daughter Ingigerd, who married a Norwegian, 
Eirik Slagbrellir, and had three sons, Harald Ungi, Magnus 
Mangi, and Roguwald, and thi-ee daughters, Ingibiorg, Elin, and 

Earl Harald now possessed Orkney and Caithness, but soon 
after the King of Norway gave Harald Ungi an earl's title with 
the half of the Orkneys, and by agreement with Earl Harald, 
King William the Lion gave Harald Ungi the half of Caithness 
which had belonged to Earl Eognwald, but they afterwards 
quarrelled, and Earl Hai-ald Ungi was slain by the other Earl 
Harald, who again possessed the whole. 

Owing to the mutilation of the Bishop of Caithness by Earl 
Harald, he was attacked by King William in 1201, and only 
allowed to retain Caithness on payment of 2000 merks of silver, 
while the district of Sutherland was taken from him and given 
to Hugo Freskin de Moravia. 

Earl Harald died in 1206, and was succeeded by his son 
David, who died in 1214, when his brother John became Earl of 
Orkney and Caithness. Fordun tells us that King William made 
a treaty of peace with him in that year, and took his daughter 
as a hostage, but the burning of Bishop Adam in 1222 brought 
King Alexander ii. down upon Earl John, who was obliged to 
give up part of his lands into the hands of the king, which, how- 
ever, he redeemed the following year by paying a large sum of 
VOL. III. 2 F 


money, and by his death in 1231 the line of Paul again came to 
an end. 

In 1232, we find Magnus, son of Gillebride, Earl of Angus, 
called Earl of Caithness, and the earldom remained in this family 
till between 1320 and 1329, when Magnus, Earl of Orkney and 
Caithness, died ; but during this time it is clear that these earls 
only possessed one half of Caithness, and the other half appears 
in the possession of the De Moravia famil}^, for Freskin, Lord of 
Duffus, Avho married Johanna, Avho possessed Strathnaver in her 
own right, and died before 1269, had two daughters, Mary 
married to Sir Keginald Cheyne, and Christian married to 
William de Fedrett, and each of these daughters had one-fourth 
part of Caithness, for William De Fedrett resigns his fourth to 
Sir Reginald Cheyne, who then appears in possession of one- 
half of Caithness (Chart, of Moray, Robertson's Index). These 
daughters probably inherited the half of Caithness through their 
mother Johanna. 

Gillebride having called one of his sons by the Nor- 
wegian name of Magnus, indicates that he had a Norwegian 
mother. This is clear from his also becoming Earl of Orkney, 
which the King of Scots could not have given him. Gille- 
bride died in 1200, so that Magnus must have been born 
before that date, and about the time of Earl Harald Ungi, 
who had half of Caithness, and died in 1198. Magnus is a name 
peculiar to this line, as the great Earl Magnus belonged to it, and 
Harald Ungi had a brother Magnus. The probability is that the 
half of Caithness which belonged to the Angus family was that 
half usually possessed by the earls of the line of Erlend, and was 
given by King Alexander with the title of Earl to Magnus, as the 
son of one of Earl Harald Ungi's sisters, while Johanna, through 
whom the Moray family inherited the other half, was, as indicated 
by her name, the daughter of John, Earl of Caithness of the line 
of Paul, who had been kept by the king as a hostage, and given 
in marriage to Freskin de Moravia. 

Magnus, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, the last of the earls 
of the Angus line, died before 1329, when Caterina Comitissa 
Orcadiae et Cathanesiae ' grants a charter ' in viduitate. ' In 
1330 we find a claim on the earldom of Caithness by Simon 
Eraser and Margaret his spouse, one of the heirs of the Earls of 


Caithness (Acta Pari. vi.). In 1331 we find Malise, Earl of 
Stratherne, charged on the Chamberlain Eolls (p. 404) with the 
rents of the fourth part of Caithness ; and in 1334 Malise appears 
as earl of the earldom of Stratherne, Caithness, and Orkney 
(Chart. InchafFray). It is clear, therefore, that the half of Caith- 
ness which belonged to the Angus earls, had like the other half 
passed to two co-heirs, and that the title of earl, with one-fourth 
of the earldom, had gone to the Earl of Stratherne, and the 
other fourth to Margaret, wife of Simon Eraser.^ 

There is some difficulty in clearing up the history of the last 
few earls of Stratherne, and of discriminating between them, as 
they all have the name of Malise. The first of the name of 
Malise was the son of Kobert, Earl of Stratherne, and Fordun 
(Bower) fixes the date of his death when he says, in 1271, 
' Malisius comes de Stratherne in partibus Gallicanis decessit et 
apud Dunblane sej)elitur.' In giving the death of Magnus, king 
of Man, in 1269, he adds, 'cujus relictam comes Malisius de 
Stratherne joos^m duxit videlicit filiam Eugenie de Ergadia;' but 
the postea refers to after 1271, and this was the second Malise 
the son of the former, for we find in 1291, Malise, Earl of Strath- 
erne, does homage to Edward I. at Stirling on 12th July, and 
twelve days after ' Maria Regina de Man et Comitissa de Strath- 
erne ' does homage at Perth in presence of Earl Malise, He died 
before 1296, as among the widows who are secured in their 
possessions by the King of England in that year is ' Maria quae 
fuit uxor Malisii Comitis de Stratherne.' 

In point of fact Malise (2d) must have died before February 
1292, for in that year 'Maria Comitissa de Stratherne quae fuit 
uxor Hugonis de Abernethyn' is summoned to Parliament to 
show cause why Alexander de Abernethyn, son of Hugo, should 
not have his lands in Fyfe and Perth (Act. Pari, vi.) ; and that 
she was not the same Maria as the Queen of Man is clear from 
this, that she appears along with her in the list of widows in 
1 2 9 6 as ' Maria quae fuit uxor Hugonis de Abernethyn.' She must 
therefore have been the wife of Malise (3d), son of Malise (2d). 

This Malise (3d) is said in Wood's 'Peerage' to have been 
killed at the battle of Halidon Hill in 1333; but he died long 
before, for we find that his second wife was Johanna de Menteith, 
whom he married in the reign of Robert Bruce, as that king con- 


firms a grant by Malise, Earl of Stratherne, to Johanna, daughter 
of John Menteith, his spouse (Rob. Index), and she after liis 
death married Jolin, Earl of Atholl, for there is in Theiner a 
dispensation in 1339 for the marriage of Johanna, Countess of 
Stratherne, widow of John, Earl of Atholl, to ]\Iaurice de Moravia. 
Now this John, Earl of Atholl, Avas himself undoubtedly killed 
at the battle of Halidou Hill in 1333. In point of fact Malise 
(3d) must have died before 1320, for King Robert also grants a 
charter to Maria de Stratherne, wife of Malise of Stratherne, of 
the lands of Kingkell, Brechin, Avhich were David de Brechin's 
(Rob. Index). She must have been therefore married to Malise 
(4th) during the lifetime of his fiither Malise (3d), as he is not 
termed earl; but this Maria is undoubtedly the Comitissa de 
Stratherne Avho was implicated along with David de Brechin and 
William de Soulis in a conspiracy in 1320 (Fordun), and Malise 
(4th) must then have been earl. 

Malise (3d) had two daughters — Matilda, married to Robert 
de Tony, and Maria to Sir John Murray of Drumsagard ; for in 
1293 we find him contracting for the marriage of his daughter 
Matilda, then under 20, to Robert de Tony (Hist. Doc. i. 394) ; 
and in the Chartulary of Inchaffray are two charters by Malisius 
Comes de Stratherne to John de Moravia and his heirs by Maria 
filia nostra ; and his son Malise (4th) confirms a grant soon after 
1319 by Malisius ' pater noster quondam comes de Stratherne ' 
to John de ^loravia et Maria filia Comitis. 

In 1320, Malise, Earl of Stratherne, signs the letter to the 
Pope. This must have been Malise (4th); and in 1334, in a 
charter in which he styles himself earl of the earldoms of Strath- 
erne, Caithness, and Orkney, he grants to William, Earl of Ross, 
the marriage of his daughter Isabel by Marjory his wife, declaring 
her his heir of the earldom of Caithness failing an heir-male of 
the marriage of the said Earl Malise and Marjory (Cart. Inch.) 
She must have been his second wife. It has usually been 
assumed that Isabel married the Earl of Ross, but this is impos- 
sible, for in another deed in 1350 the Earl of Ross styles 
Marjory, Countess of Stratherne, his sister. He was therefore 
Isabel's uncle, and the deed was granted at the time of Earl 
Malise's forfeiture, when Isabel was probably still a child, and 
was intended if possible to protect the succession. 



Earl Malise (4th) had several other daughters. In 1353 
Erngils, a Norwegian, gets from the King of Norway the title of 
Earl of Orkney in right of his mother Agneta, Avhich he forfeits 
in 1357. In that year Duncan son of Andrew protests for 
Alexander de le Arde in right of his mother Matilda, called 
eldest daughter of Earl Malise. In 1364 Euphemia de Strath- 
erne appears as one of the heirs of the late Earl Malise. In 
1374 Alexander de le Arde resigns his rights through his mother 
Matilda to the King. In 1379 Henry St. Clair and Malise 
Sperre claim the Earldom of Orkney. Henry becomes earl and 
calls his mother Isabella St. Clair in a charter of lands of which 
she was heiress. Matilda was probably daughter of Maria the 
first wife, and the little favour shown to her rights may have 
arisen from her mother's complicity in the conspiracy in 1320. 
The other daughters were probably children of Marjory, and the 
Earl of Eoss appears to have married his niece Isabella to Sir 
William St. Clair, the father of Henry. 

It is clear the right to Orkney and Caithness could not have 
come to the Earls of Stratherne through the Queen of Man, wife 
of Malise (2d), nor through either of the wives of Malise (4th), 
as his daughters by both wives claimed. He must, therefore, 
have derived his right through his mother, one of the wives of 
Malise (3d), but this could not have been Johanna de Menteith, 
and therefore Maria, widow of Hugo de Abernethyn, seems the 
only possible heiress of the earldom of Caithness. 


^ This paper was also read to the granted to his son David the castle 

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland of Brathwell, its lands, and all other 

on 11th March 1878, and appears in lands inherited by Alexander de le 

their Proceedings of that Session, Arde in right of Matilda de Strath- 

p. 571. erne, his mother (Robertson's Tn- 

- In 1375 Alexander de le Arde dex, pp. 120, 129). The castle of 

resigned to King Robert the Second Brathwell, now Braal Castle, is in 

the earldom of Caithness, the prin- the vale of the Thurso river, and 

cipal manor or mansion, with the the possession of the principal mes- 

title of Earl, and all other rights suage carried the title of Earl. The 

belonging to him in right of his other lands of the earldom appear 

mother Matilda, eldest daughter of to have been held in 2»'o indiviso 

Earl Malise ; and King Robert fourths. 




Saer do lennan a Leamhain, 

Alun og mac Muireadhaigh 
A chul druimnech gan duibhe, 
Ua Luighdech a liathmliuine. 

Maith do clionach gilla ngeal, 
do charais do cheidfhear, 
Mac righ bealaigh do bhi an dan, 
[Gur] bill Leamhain a leannan. 

Gearr-abhand hainra eacht oile, 
A reimheas na rioghroidhe, 
Go riacht Core Muimnech tar muir ; 
Folt druimnech os a dhearcuibh. 

Da tainic Fearadhach fionn, 

Mac righ Alban na noirphioll, 
Da ndearna re Core cleamhnas, 
Ar thocht ina thighearnas. 

Tug Fearadhach, feirrde leom, 

A inghean do Core chuil-fhionn, 
Lan da tairm Teamhair Mide, 
Leamhain ainm na hinghine. 

Toircheas rioghna rug Leamhain, 

Maine mac Chuire chuil-leabhair, 
Do thaisigh na hucht an ten, 
Do Chore Chaisil na coilen. 

Aen do laithibh do Leamhain, 

Mathair Mhaine mheirleabhair, 
Caega inghen fa ban bonn, 
As; snamh innbhir na habhonn. 


Baidhter i an uclit an chalaidh, 

Leamliain inghean Fhearadliaigh, 
Baister Leamhain ort da eis, 
Meabhair nach olc re a fhaisneis. 

Dob annamh ceim catha gall, 
Fa timlibb uaine a abhann, 
Fa meince leat a Leamhain, 
Mac eillte fa tinnbhearaibh. 

Do fhas cliughat Alun og, 

Mac Muireadhaigh ua min rod, 
Aluinn sniiadh a ghlac nglan-ur. 
Slat do chuan an ched Alun. 

Noch ar leathchumthach leanna, 
Alun og ua hOilealla, 
Bi an gheag do fhine Alun, 
Cead ag ibhe in aen ghalun. 

Gen CO beith aclit aen tunna dfhion, 
Ag fine Chuirc na caeimhriog, 
Ni soclima siol ceann-glan Chuirc, 
Da ndearna fion do anairt, 

Mormhaer Leamhna leaca mhin, 
Deagh-mhac inghine Ailin, 
A gheal-lamh, a thaebh, a throigh, 
Saer do leannan a Leamhain. 




COMPARISON between the Highland Clans and the 
Afghaun Tribes. Written in 1816 by Sir Walter Scott. 

The genealogies of the Afghaun tribes may be paralleled with 
those of the Clans ; the nature of their favourite sports, their 
love of their native land, their hospitality, their address, their 
simplicity of manners, exactly correspond. Their superstitions 
are the same, or nearly so. The GhoUe Beahaun (demons of the 
desert) resemble the Boddach of the Highlanders, who ' walked the 
heath at midnight and at noon.' The Afghaun's most ordinary 
mode of divination is by examining the marks in the blade-bone 
of a sheep, held up to the light ; and even so, the Eev. Mr. 
Robert Kirk assures us, that in his time, the end of the sixteenth 
century, ' the seers prognosticate many future events (only for a 
month's space) from the shoulder-bone of a sheep on which a 
knife never came. By looking into the bone, they will tell if 
whoredom be committed in the owner's house ; Avhat money the 
master of the sheep had ; if any will die out of that house for a 
month ; and if any cattle there Avill take a trake {i.e. a disease), 
as if planet-struck.' ^ 

The Afghaun, who, in his Aveary travels, had seen no vale 
equal to his oavu native valley of Speiger, may find a parallel in 
many an exile from the braes of Lochaber ; and whoever had 
remonstrated with an ancient Highland chief on the superior 
advantages of a civilised life, regulated by the authority of equal 
laws, would have received an answer something similar to the 
indignant reply of the old Afghaun : ' We are content with 
discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, 

1 Essay on the Nature and Actions going under tlienameof Elves, Fames, 
of the Subterranean Invisible People and the like. London, 1815. 


but we Avill never be content with a master.' - The Highland 
chiefs, otherwise very frequently men of sense and education, 
and only distinguished in Lowland society by an affectation of 
rank and stateliness somewhat above their means, were, in their 
own country, from the absolute submission paid to them by 
their clans, and the want of frequent intercourse with persons of 
the same rank with themselves, nursed iu a high and daring 
spirit of independent sovereignty which would not brook or 
receive protection or control from the public law or government, 
and disdained to owe their possessions and the preservation of 
their rights to anything but their own broadswords. 

Similar examples may be derived from the History of Persia 
by Sir John Malcolm. But our limits do not permit us further 
to pursue a parallel which serves strikingly to show how the 
same state of society and civilisation produces similar manners, 
laws, and customs, even at the most remote period of time, and 
in the most distant quarters of the world. In two respects the 
manners of the Caubul tribes differ materially from those of the 
Highlanders ; first, in the influence of their Jeergas, or patri- 
archal senates, which diminishes the power of their chiefs, and 
gives a democratic turn to each separate tribe. This appears to 
have been a perpetual and radical difference ; for at no time do 
the Highland chiefs appear to have taken counsel with their 
elders, as an authorised and indejiendent body, although, no 
doubt, they availed themselves of their advice and experience 
upon the principle of a general who summons a council of war. 
The second point of distinction respects the consolidation of those 
detached tribes under one head, or king, who, Avith a degree of 
authority greater or less according to his talents, popularity, and 
other circumstances, is the acknowledged head of the associated 
communities. In this point, however, the Highlanders anciently 
resembled the Afghauns, as will appear when we give a brief 
sketch of tlieir general history. But this, to be intelligible, 
must be preceded by some account of their social system, of 
which the original and primitive basis differed very little from 
the first time that we hear of them in history until the de- 
struction of clanship in 1748. — Eeview of Culloden Papers, 
Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. p. 289. 

- Account of Caubul, p. Hi note. 





CLANS supposed to be descended from Fergus Leith Derg, son 
of Nemedh, who led the Nemedian colony to Ireland. 

Genelach Clann Cailin 

Cailin oig mac 

Gillaeaspic ruaidh mic 

Cailin mic 

Neill mic 

Cailin moir mic 

Gilleeaspic mic 

Dubgaill Cambel a quo mic 

Donnchach mic 
Gillaeaspic mic 

Genealogy ofthe Clan Colin 
OR CambellSjNow Campbells. 
Sir Colin Cambell of Lochaw 

(chr. in 1407) son of 
Sir Archibald Cambell (has a 

chr. in 1 368 of lands as freely 

as his progenitor Duncan 

Mac Duine) son of 
Sir Colin Cambell of Lochow 

son of 
Sir Neill Cambell of Lochaw 

son of 
Sir Colin Mor Cambell of 

Lochaw son of 
Gillespie Cambell (1266, Exch. 

Rolls) son of 
Dugald Cambel, from whom 

came the name of Cambell, 

son of 
Duncan son of 
Gillespie son of 

1 From the ms. 1467, Kilbride ms., c. 1540, and MacFirbis's Gen. ms. 



Gillacolaimrenabarta micDuibne 

Duibne^ on raithir mic 

Eiranaid or Fearadoig mic 

Smeirbi mic 

Artuir mic 

Uibher .i. rig andomain^ mic 

Ambrois mic 
Considin mic 
Amgcel mic 
Toisid mic 
Conruirg mic 
Considin mic 
Artuir na laimh mic 
Laimlin mic 
Artuir laimberg mic 
Bene Briot mic 
Artuir mic 
Allardoid mic 
Artuir Fad Eaglais mic 
Lamdoid mic 
Findluga mic 
Artuir oig mic 
Firmara mic 

- The later spurious pedigrees 
made this Duibhne, son of Diar- 
maid McDuimhn, by Graine his 
wife, from whom the Campbells 
were called Siol Diarmaid, i.e. 
Diarmed's seed, and place between 
him and Earanaid seven imaginary 
Duimhns, Arthurs, and Fearathors 
(Campbell's West Highland Tales, 
iii. p. 89), thus importing the Os- 
sianic hero Diarmed o Duine into 
the pedigz-ee from mere similarity 
of name. There is no reason to 
suppose that the clan were ever 
really called Siol Diarmed. 

Malcolm, called Mac Duine, son 

Duibhne, from whom the name 

is taken, son of 
Fearadoig son of 
Smeroie son of 
Arthur son of 
Uibher, king of the world {Uther 

Pendragon), son of 
Amhrosius son of 
Constantine son of 
Amgcel son of 
Toisid son of 
Conruirg son of 
Constantine son of 
Arthur of the hand, son of 
Laimlin son of 
Arthur Eedhand son of 
Bene Briot son of 
Arthur son of 
Allardoid son of 
Arthur of the long church, son of 
Lamdoid son of 
Findlay son of 
Arthur the young, son of 
Firmara or the man of the sea, 

son of 

^ MS. 1467 stops here, but else- 
where says the Cam bells and Mac- 
leods were descended from Neme- 
dius. The earlier part is taken from 
two other Mss. MacFirbis gives a 
different list of names, eleven in 
number, but likewise terminating 
with Briotan, son of Fergus Leth- 
derg. They are ' lobar or Uther 
Mac Lidir mic Brearnaird mic Mui- 
ris mic Magoth mic Coiel mic Cato- 
gain mic Caidimoir mic Catogain 
mic Bende mic Mebrec mic Grifin 
mic Briotain, o taid Bretnaig, mic 
Fergusa Leithderg mic Nemid,' etc. 



Artuir moir mic 

Bene Briot mic 

Briotus mic 

Briotan o bfuilid Breatnan mic 

Fergusa Leithderg mic 

Artlmr the great, son of 

Bene Briot son of 

Briotus son of 

Briotan, from whom came the 

Britons, son of 
Fergus Bedside, son of 


Genelach mic Leod annso * 
(Alasdran) mic 
( ) mic 

( ) mic 

( ) mic 

(Giollacolum) mic 
(Tarmoid) mic 
Leod on raithir mic 

Oloig mic 
Oib mic 
Oilmoir mic 
lamhar oig mic 
Sin lamhar mic 
Sgoinne Sgandlan mic 
lamliar Athacliath mic 
Connla mic 
Connaill cl. derg mic 
Ceallacli mic 
Mardoid mic 
Ceallach Catluanid mic 
Cuilinnan mic 

^ From the Kilbride MS. , c. 1540. 
The first six names have been care- 
fully erased, probably by a partisan 
of the rival house. They are sup- 
plied from other sources. 

5 Alexander Macleod has char- 
ters as son and heir of the deceased 

Genealogy of Macleod here. 
Alexander Macleod son of ^ 
William Macleod son of 
John Macleod son of 
William Macleod son of 
Malcolm Macleod son of 
Tormode Macleod son of*" 
Leod, from whom the clan is 

named, son of 
Oil the young, son of 
Oil) son of 
Oil) the great, son of 
Ivor the young, son of 
Old Ivor son of 
Sgandlan of Scone, son of 
Ivor of Dublin, son of 
Connal son of 

Connall of the red sivord, son of 
Ceallach son of 
Mardoid son of 
Ceallach Catluanid son of 
Cuilinnan son of 

William John Maclodeson of Dun- 
vegan, on the forfeiture of the Lord 
of the Isles iu 1498. — Reg. Mag. 

" There is a charter by David ii. to 
Malcolm, son of Tormode Macloyde, 
of two parts of Glenelg. — R. I. 



Connla mic 

Dergdian Sgotheg mic 

Manuis oig mic 

Magnus na luingi luaithe mic 

Magnus Aircin mic 

lamhar uallach mic 

Dergi mic 

Arailt mic 

lamhar nam Breat mic 

Ubhaidh mic 

Arailt mic 

Aspuig mic 

Ceallach mic 

Connla mic 

Lamus mic 

Lungbard mic 

Lamus mic 

Lochlan mic 

Arailt mic 

Laigh laidere o.r, clann Laigli 

Fergus Leighderg 

Connal son of 

Dergdian Sgotheg, son of 

Mamts the young, son of 

Magnus of the swift ship, son of 

Magnus of Orkney, son of 

Ivor the sJcilful, son of 

Dergi son of 

Harald son of 

Ivor of the judgments, son of 

Ubhaidh son of 

Harald son of 

Aspac son of 

Ceallach son of 

Connal son of 

Lamus son of 

Longohard son of 

Lamus son of 

Lochlan son of 

Harald son of 

Laigh the strong, from ivhom 

called Clan Laigh, son of 
Fergus of the red. side. 


Genelach mic Nicail 

Eoin mic 
Eogain mic 
Eoin mic 
Nicail mic 
Aigi mic 
Neailb mic 
Nicail mic 

Genealogy of the Nicol- 


John son of 
Ewen son of 
John son of 
Nicail son of 
Aigi son of 
Neailb son of 
Nicail son of 

'' This genealogy is aclcled from 
MS. 1467, as it contains a jumble of 
Gaelic and Norwegian names some- 
what similar to that of the Mac- 

leods. It will be observed that the 
Pictish name Trostain or Drostain 
occurs among them. 



Gregill mic 

Gillemure mic 

Sealbar mic 

Toircinn mic 

Tottha mic 

Trostain mic 

Sdacaill mic 

Erble o fuiled ic Erble mic 

Arailt mic 
Murechaich mic 
Fogacail mic 
Poil mic 
Ailin mic 
Airfin mic 
Taidg mic 
Amlaim mic 
Turcinn Atacliath mic 
Arailt mic 
Asmainn mic 

GregilF son of 

Gillemure son of 

Sealbar son of 

Toircinn son of 

Tottha son of 

Trostain son of 

Sdacaill son of 

Erble, from luhom Mac Erble, 

son of 
Earald son of 
Murechach son of 
Fogacail son of 
Paul son of 
Allan son of 
Airfin son of 
Teague son of 
Avilaimh son of 
Turcinn of Dublin, son of 
Harald son of 
Asmainn son of 


Clans supposed to be descended from Colla Uais, son of 
Eochaidh Doimlein, King of Ireland. 

Na tri Colla.^ 

A deir an croinicil go ttuga- 
dar na tri Colla seacht ccatlia 
re seacht laithe a ndiaia;li a 

Of the three Collas. 

The chronicle says that the 
three Collas fought seven battles 
during seven days, one after 

^ The author of the Statistical Ac- 
count of Edderachylis {Stat. Acct., 
vi. p. 278) mentions that the Nicol- 
sons are traditionally descended 
from a certain Krycul, who must 
have lived in the thirteenth cen- 

tury, and so far the pedigree may 
be genuine. 

9 From MS. T. C. D.,H. 3, 18. The 
author is indebted to Mr. Hennessy 
for the translation of this tract. 



cheile dultachaibh agus gur 
marbadh ri uladh san chath 
deigheanacli didh .i. Fergus 
fogha .i. i catli achaidh deirg. 
Don taobli a bhus do ghlionn 
Eighe do rinneadh torann 
gleanna righe on iobur anuas 
eatarra agus ClannaRughraidhe, 
agus nir fhilleadar Clanna Ru- 
ghraidhe anun o sin ale. Do 
chuirRi eireann .i. Muireadhacli 
Tireach gairm ar chlainn Eacli- 
ach Duiblen .i. na tri Colla 
agus tugadh go teamraigh iad 
agus tug saorrse agus sochra 
dhoibh fein agus da noigli- 
righibh na ndiaigh go sior- 
dhaighe agus do mhaith mar- 
bhadh a athar doibh ar a 
ccongnamh do beith leis o sin 
amacli agus tug a noireadsa 
do dhuthaigh doibh as cionn a 
ngabaltais a nultaibh .i. Triocha 
ced in gach cuigeadli eile deirinn 
agus baile in gach Triocha ced 
agus teach agus garrdha in 
gach baile. Ag so an chuid 
eile dona sochraibh .i. coimh- 
eirghe rompa ar fhearuibh 
eirionn a naonach agus a noir- 
eachtus acht Ri eireann amhain 
agus gan iadsan deirghe re each, 
Trian eadala a ccuantaibh long 
doibh. Tus dighe tus leapta 
agus ionnalta re mileadhaibh 
eireann i ttighibh miodhcurta 
aca. Coinnmeadh da ndaoinibh 
ar fhearaibh eireann an feadh 
beidis gan buanacht dfhaghail. 

another, to the Ulidians, and 
that the king of Ulad, i.e. 
Fergus Fogha, was slain in the 
last battle of them, viz. the 
battle of Achadh-derg. On 
this side of Glen-Righe the 
boundary of Glen-Righe from 
the Ibar down (from Newry 
northwards) was made between 
them and the Clan Rughraidhe, 
and the Clan Rughraidhe did 
not return across from that to 
this. The king of Erin, viz. 
Muredach Tireach, invited the 
sons of Eochaidh Duiblen, viz. 
the three Collas ; and they 
were brought to Tara ; and he 
gave freedom and emoluments 
to themselves and their heirs 
after them for ever. And he 
forgave them the killing on 
condition that they would aid 
him from henceforth. And he 
gave them this much of posses- 
sions beyond their acquisitions 
in Ulad, viz. a Triocha ced in 
every other province of Erin, 
and a bally in every Triocha 
ced, and a house and garden in 
every bally. This is another 
part of the privileges, viz., that 
the men of Erin, excepting the 
king alone, should rise up be- 
fore them in fair and assembly, 
and that they should rise up 
before none. They should have 
a third of the profits of ship- 
harbours ; precedence of drink, 
bed, and ablutions before the 



Gan eiric fola do dhnl uatlia. 
Coimlied gliiall eireann aca. 
Giodh be do rachadh ar a 
nionchuibh comairce go ceann 
mbliadhna aige. Gach arm 
noclitai" a naonacli no a noir- 
eachtus do beith aca. Ni raibe 
ag rigb eireann acbt braigbde 
ar braigbdibb uatba. Leath- 
gbuala Rigb eireann ag righ 
sleacbta na ccolla agus fad a 
laimhe agus a Lainne dfhol- 
mbugbadb eder e agus cacb. 
Coinnmeadb eacbra agus ebon 
o sbamuin go bealtuine ar feadb 
eirenn aca. Da mbuantaoi 
creach na ndiaigh dbiobh agus 
siad ar sbiaigbeadb rigb eireann 
se ba san bboin doibb uadba. 
Bo ar ficb agus tuarasdul do 
gach aoin da maitbibb o righ 
eireann ar sbiaigbeadb. Triocba 
colg ded. Triocba bait airgid. 
Triocba sleagb. Triocba brat 
o rigb eireann do rigb sleacbta 
na ccolla iar bbfbilleadh da 
sluaigbeadh agus da mbeidis 
geill uatba ag rigb eireann ni 
bhiodb do cbuibbreacb ortha 
acbt slabrad oir. No a mbeitb 
fa reir a ccuideacbtain righ 
eireann. Oir as uime a dearar 
oirgiallaibh riu .i. or as glais 
da ngiallaibb. Ag sin a socbair 
maille re sochraibb eile nach 
airmtear annso. A siad na 
ceithre baibhne as uaisle a nul- 
taibb torauna fearainn cbloinne 
na ccolla .i. Boinn, Banna, an 

knights of Erin, in banquet- 
balls. Coigny for their people 
whilst they might l)e without 
getting Bonaglit. That they 
sbould not lose blood-eric ; 
should have the guarding of 
the hostages of Erin ; that 
whoever sought their guarantee 
sbould have protection for a 
year ; that they sbould have 
every weapon unsheathed in 
fair or assembly. The king of 
Erin bad from them only 
pledge for pledge. The king 
of the race of the Collas should 
have the half-shoulder of the king 
of Erin (the right to sit or stand 
beside him), and the length of 
bis band and spear should be 
vacant between him and all 
others. Tbeyshould have main- 
tenance for horse and hound 
throughout Erin from Allhal- 
lowtide to May. If a prey were 
taken from them in their rear, 
when on tbe hosting of the king 
of Erin, they sbould have six 
cows from him for every cow. 
The pay of each of their good- 
men from tbe king of Erin, on 
a hosting, was 21 cows. Tbe 
king of tbe race of tbe Collas 
should get from the king of 
Erin, after returning from his 
hosting, 30 swords, 30 silver 
belts, 30 spears, 30 garments, 
and if the king of Erin had 
any hostages from them, there 
Avas no manacle on them save 



Eirne agus an Fhionn. lom- 
thusa Cholla Uais nior bhfhiu 
leis fuireach ar a chuid don 
duthuigh no do na socliraibh 
sin a dubramar o do bi ere agus 
an rioghacht aige fein roime 
sin. Eagbliais a fhearann agus 
na sochair sin aga braithribh. 
Dala Colla Uais anais a mbun 
a gabaltais fein a nalbain agus 
a blifhionnlochlannuibh o shoin 
ale agus a ngablaigheann uadha 
acht ar fhill go heirinn diobh 
a mbun a ndutlichasa. Ase so 
craobbsgaoileadh shleachta rigb 
eireann .i. Colla Uais .i. Clann 
Domnaill a neirinn agus a 
nalbain agus a ngablaigeann 
uatha. Mar a taid Clann Ragb- 
naill a tuaigh agus Clann Eoin 
Airnamurcbann agus Macdubh- 
gbuill latbairn agus Clann Alas- 
dair a neirinn agus a nalban 
agus Clann tsithigh naMunchan 
agus moran do maithibh oile 
nacb airemtear sonn. 


a gold chain, or they would be 
under control in the suite of 
the king of Erin ; for the reason 
they are called Oirgialla is that 
gold (or) is the lock (glas) for 
their hostages (gialla). These 
are their j^rivileges, together 
with other privileges not enu- 
merated here. The four noblest 
rivers in Ulad are the bound- 
aries of the lands of the Clan 
Colla, viz. the Boyne, the Bann, 
the Erne, and the Finn. As 
regards Colla Uais, he did not 
think it worth while remaining 
with his share of the country, 
or of those privileges we have 
mentioned, for he himself had 
Erin and the kingship ere then. 
He left the land and those pri- 
vileges to his brothers. With 
regard (further) to Colla Uais, 
he remained in the founda- 
tion of his own acquisitions in 
Alban and Finnlochlann (Innsi- 
gall) from that time to this, and 
all who descend from him, 
except those that returned to 
Erin or the foundation of their 
inheritance. These are the 
branches of the race of the 
king of Erin, viz. Colla Uais, 
viz. the Clan Donald of Erin 
and Alban, and those Avho de- 
scend from them, as are the 
Clan Ranald of the north, the 
Clan Ian Ardnamurchan and 
MacDougall of Lorn, and the 
Clan Alaster of Erin and Alban, 
2 G 



and the Clan Sheeliy of Mun- 
ster, and many other good men 
not enumerated here. 

Genealach mig 

na halban^*' 
Eoin mac 

Aengusa oig mic 

Aengusa moir mic 

Domhnall mic 
Raghnaill mic 

Somairli mic 

Gillebrigde mic 
Gilleadamnain mic 
Solaimh mic 
Imergi^^ mic 

Suibhne mic 
Niallgusa mic 
Amaini mic 
Gofraidh mic 
Fergusa mic 
Eire mic 
Echach mic 
Golla Uais 

DoMHNAij, Genealogy of the Macdon- 


John i^Lord of the Ides, died 

1380) son of 
Angus og (Lord of the hies) 

son of 
Angus mor (Lord of the Ides) 

son of 
Donald (Lord of the Isles) son of 
Reginald, King of the Isles, 

son of 
Somerled (Kinglet of Argyll) 

son of 
Gillebride son of 
Gilladomnan son of 
Solomon son of 
Jehmarc (did homage to Canvie 

1029) S071 of 
Suibhne son of 
Niallgusa son of 
Maine son of 
Godfrey son of 
Fergus son of 
Ere son of 
Echach son of 
Colla Uais. 


Craebsgaieled Clann Dom- 
NALL ANSO .i. Clann Eoin a 

i» Taken from the Books of Balli- 
mote and Leccan. 

^' MacFirbis gives this name as 
Meargaidhe, and adds a quo. He 

The Branches of the Clan- 
Donald here, viz. the chil- 

terms the clan Ua Meargaidhe, 
meaning that this name was de- 
rived from this Meargaidhe. The 
name is unknown in Scotland. 



hile^- Eoin agus Eagnall agus 
Gofraig tri mic E. mliic 
Euaidri; Domnall og agus 
Eoin agus Aengus agus Alex- 
andair iiii. mhic inghen 
Galtin .i. rig Alban. 

Ag Eoin a hile condregaid 
Clann Domnall agus Clanu 
Eagnall agus Clann Gofruig. 

Clann Eagnall Ailin agus Eoin 
dobi dall fadeoig agus Dom- 
nall agus Aengusa Eiabhacli 
agus Dubgaill agus ag so 
clann a sin .i. Clann Ailin 
Euaidri agus Uisdinn agus 

Clann Domnall mhic Eagnall 
Eoin dar mathair Laiglib ing- 
hen Cimair agus Alexandair 
na caillie agus Aengus oig 
Clann inghean mhic Cimisin. 

Eoin dall acu mac les .i. Eoin. 

Aengus Eiabhach aen mac mait 
aige .i. Aengus oig aig air- 
obusa fein amaelanac oig. 

Clann Dubgaill mhic Eagnall 
agus Aengus Euadh. 
Clann Gofruig Aengus agus 
Eoin agus Somairli agus Eag- 

Aengus trath nir fagail clann 
mae agb ata sil. 

dren of John, Lord of the 
Isles, John and Eeginald and 
Godfrey, the three sons of 
Amie mac Eory ; Donald og 
and John and Angus and 
Alexander, four sons of the 
daughter of Galtur (Eobert), 
king of Alban. 

The Clan Donald, Clan Eanald, 
and Clan Godfrey meet at 
John Lord of the Isles. 

The children of Eeginald were 
Allan and John, who was 
blind from youth, and Donald 
and Angus Eiabhach and 
Dugald ; and these are the 
children of Allan, viz.Eoderic 
and Huistein and John. 

The children of Donald son of 
Eeginald were John, whose 
mother was Laiglib daughter 
of Cimair, and Alexander of 
the woods, and Angus og, 
children of the daughter of 

Blind John had but one son, 
viz. John, 

Angus Eiach had one good son, 
viz. Angus og, and had in 
him a bald-headed youth. 

The children of Dugald son of 
Eeginald are . . and Aengus 
thered. The children of God- 
frey were Angus and John 
and Somerled and Eeginald. 

Angus dying early did not leave 
any male children who had 

1- Taken from ms. 1467. 




Marcus mac 
Somairlig mic 
Alaxandair mic 
Aengusa mor 
Eoin mac 
RaghnailP^ mic 
Alexandair mic 
Aengusa moir 
Aengus og mac 
Aengusa mic 
Alaxandair mic 
Aengusa moir 
Eoin mac 
Somairli mic 
Eoindub mic 
Alaxandair mic 
Angus mor 
Godfrey mac 
Angus mliic 
Alexander oig 
Angus odhar mac 
Toirdealbach mhic 
Alexander oig 
Somairli mac 
Gillabrigdi mic 
Gofraig mic 
Alexandair oig 

The Clan Alastair.^'^ 

Marcus son of 

Somerled son of 

Alexander son of 

Angus mor, Lord of the Isles. 

John son of 

Eeginald son of 

Alexander son of ' 

Angus mor. 

Angus og son of 

Angus son of 

Alexander son of 

Angus moir. 

John son of 

Somerled son of 

Black John son of 

Alexander son of 

Angus mor {Lord of the hies). 

Godfrey son of 

Angus son of 

Alexander oig. 

Angus the pale son of 

Tearlach son of 

Alexander oig. 

Somerled son of 

Gillebride son of 

Godfrey son of 

Alexander oitr. 

The following branches, de- are obviously the Clan Alasdair. 

scended from Alaxandair, son of An- 
gus mor, are taken from the Books 
of Ballimote and Leccan and MS. 
1467, and, though bearing no title, 

'"* Raghnall mac Alaxandair, heir 
of the Clann Alaxandair, is men- 
tioned in the Annals of Ulster in 




Domnall mac 
Aengus mic 
Eoin sprangaig mic 
Aengusa mor 

The Clan Ian of Ardna- 


Donald son of 

Angus son of 

John the bold son of 

Angus mor {Lord of the Isles). 


Domnall mac^'^ 
Alaxandair mic 
Domnaill mic 
Raghnaill mic 


Dondchad agus Eachond da 

Alaxandair mic 
Domnall mic 

Eoin agus Gillaespic da mhic 
Donnchaid mic 
Alaxandair mic 
Domnaill mic 
Toirdealbach agus Lochlan da 

Eachduind mic 
Alaxandair mic 
Domnaill mic 

Donald son of 

Alexander son of 

Donald {Lord of the Isles) son of 

Reginald {Lord of the Isles) 

son of 
Duncan and Eoclia two sons of 

Alexander son of 

Donald son of 


John and Gillespie two sons of 

Duncan son of 

Alexander son of 

Donald son of 


Tearlach and Lochlan two sons 

Eocha son of 
Alexander son of 
Donald son of 

^■' This pedigree, taken from Book 
of Leccan and ms. 1467, though 
without a title, is evidently that of 
the Clan Ian Ardnamurchan. 

^^ The following descendants of 
Alexander, son of Donald, Lord of 
the Isles, from Book of Leccan and 
MS. 1467. 




Genealach mag Dubhgailli^ 

Eoin mac 

Ailin mic 

Eoin mic 

Alaxandair mic 

Eogan moir mic 

Donchadh mic 

Dubhgaill mic^^ 


gu concraigid na tri 

cineduigli .i. Claim Domnaill 

agus Clann Dubgaill agus 


Eoin mac^'^ 

Eoin mic 


Alaxandair og mac 

Eoin mic 


Eoin agus Somairli agus Ailin 

agus Alaxandair og 
Ceithri mhic Eoin mic 
Alaxandair mic 

Genealogy of MacDougall. 

John son of 

Allan son of 

John son of ^^ 

Alexander son of 

Ewen mor son of 

Duncan son of 

Dougall son of 


where the three tribes of the 

Clan Donald, Clan Dubgall, and 

MacRory converge. 

John son of 

John son of 


Alexander og son of 

John son of 


John and Somei'led and Allan 
and Alexander og were the 
four sons of John son of 

Alexander son of 



Clann Eoin bogaig^i 
Eoin mac 
Lochland mic 
Somairli mic 


Clan of John the Lame. 
John son of 
Lochlan son of 
Somerled son of 

'^ From Book of Ballimote and MS. 
1467. It also occurs in Book of 
Leccan under the name of ' Clann 
Somairli. ' 

^^ Appears in 1491 as Dominus 
Johannes de Ergadia filius nobilis 
viri Domini Alexandri de Ergadia. 

^'■^ Dubgall is erroneously made 
son of Reginald. In Book of Lec- 
can he is correctly made son of 

-" From the Book of Leccan. 

"1 From Book of Leccan and ms 




Donnchadh mic 


Dondchad mac 

Alaxandair mic 

Eoin mic 


Malcolaim mac 

Lochland mic 

Eoin mic 


Fearchai" agus Lochland agus 

Imar tri mliic 
Gillacolum mic 
Imair mic 
Dubhgaill mic 
Lochland mic 
Donchad mic 
Alaxandair agus Somairli da 

Eoin mic 
Alaxandair mic 
Donnchaidh mic 

Duncan son of 


Duncan son of 

Alexander son of 

John son of 


Malcolm son of 

Lochlan son of 

John son of 


Ferchard and Lochlan and 

Ivor three sons of 
Malcolm son of 
Ivor son of 
Dougall son of 
Lochlan son of 
Duncan son of 
Alexander and Somerled two 

sons of 
John son of 
Alexander son of 
Duncan son of 


Genealach mhic Euaidri-- 

Tomas mac 

Eagnall finn mic 

Lochloind mic 

Ailin mic 

Ruaidri mic 


Ragnall finn eile mac-'^ 

" From Books of Ballimote and 
Leccan and ms. 1467. 

-•* From Book of Leccan and ms. 
14ri7. Reginald filius Roderici has 

Genealogy of MacRory. 

Thomas son of 

Ranald the white, son of 

Lochlan son of 

Allan son of 

Roderic or Rory son of 

Reginald (Lord of the Isles). 

Another Ranald the white, son of 

a charter of Garmoran and other 
lands from David ii., and his father 
Roderic filius Alani of the same 
lands from Robert Bruce. 



Kuaidri mic 

Ailin mic 

Ruaidri mic 


Fearchar agus Donnchad da 

Dondchaid mic 
Dubgaill mic 
Ruaidri mic 

Do Raglinall sin Comraig 
Clann Domnall agus 
Ciann Ruaidi-i-^ .i. Ruaddri 
agus Domnall da mhic 
Raghnall. Dearbrathair 
do Raghnall sin Dubgall 
a quo Clann Dubgaill 

Roderic son of 

Allan son of 

Roderic son of 

Reginald {Lord of the Isles). 

Ferchard and Duncan two sons 

Duncan son of 
Dougall son of 
Roderic son of 
Reginald {Lord of the Isles). 
At this Reginald meet the 
Clan Donald and Clan Rory, 
for Roderic and Donald were the 
two sons of Reginald. His 
brother-german was Dougall, 
from whom were descended 
the Clan Dou2:all. 


Clans supposed to be descended from the Hy Neill or race of 
Niall Naoi Giallach, king of Ireland, through Niall Glun- 
dubh, head of the northern Hy Neill and king of Ireland, 
slain 917. 

Genelach Clann Ladmann-*^ Genealogy of the Clan Lad- 

Roibert mac 
Donchadh mic 
Eoin mic 
Giollacoluim mic 
Ladmainn mic 
Giollacoluim mic 


Robert son of 
Duncan son of 
John son of 
Malcolm son of 
Ladmann son of 
Malcolm son of 

-■' From Book of Leccan. 

-* MS. 1467 has erroneously Con- 
drecaidh Clann Ruaidri agus Clann 
Domnall agus Clann Dubgaill — con- 

verged the Clan Rory, Clan Donald, 
and Clan Dougall. 

-'' This and the three following are 
from the ms. 1467 and MacFirbis. 



Fearchair mic 
Duinsleibe mic 
Aeda Alain .i. Buirclie mic 
Anradan mic 
Flaithbertaigli mic 
Murcertach mic 
Domuall mic 
Murcertach mic 
Neill Glundub 

Ferchard son of 

Duinsleibhe son nf 

Aeda Alain the Buirche, son of 

Anradan son of 

Flaherty son of 

Murcertach son of 

Donald son of 

Murcertach son of 

Niall Glundubh (or Black Knee). 

DogenelachmhicLachlan og 

Caineach mac 

Eoin mic 

Lachlan mic 

Gillapadruig mic 

Lachlan moir mic 

(Tillapadruig mic 

(iillacrist mic 

Aeda Alain 

renabarta Buirche mic 

Anradan condregaided 

Clanna Neill Nai Giallach 

Caitrina ingen 

Donchadh mic 

Ladmann mathair 

Cainig agus Padraig agus 

Gillaespic agus 

Agais ingen 

mic Domnaill mathair 

Eoin agus 

Ealusaid ingen 

Mormair Comgaill mathair 

Lachlain oig agus 

mathair Gillapadruig ingen 

Domnall mic 

Eiri mic 

Ceinnedou tigerna Cair2;e ai^us 

Genealogy of MacLachlan. 

Kenneth son of 

John son of 

Lachlan son of 

Gillapadrig son of 

Lachlan Mor son of 

Gillapadrig son of 

Gillacrist son of 

Aeda Alain 

called Buirche son of 

Anradan, where it converges with 

the Clan Niall Naoi Giallach. 

Catherine the daughter of 

Duncan son of 

Ladmann was mother of 

Kenneth, Patrick, and Gillespie, 

and Agnes the daughter 

of Macdonald was the 

mother of 

John and 

Elizabeth daughter of 

the Lord of Cowall was 

mother of Lachlan og and 

the mother of Gillapadrig 

was the daughter of Donald 

son of Eric mac Kennedy Lord 

of Carrick and the daughter of 



inccen Lachlau mic 
Ruaidri mathair 
Gillapadruig .i. Ateg no M. 

Lachlan mac Rory was the 
mother of Gillajjadric, viz, 
Atesr or M. 

Genelach Clann Somairle Genealogy of the Clan 

Domnall mac 

Gillaespic mic 
Aengusa mic 
Domnaill mic 
Somairle mic 
Ferchair mic 
Duinsleibe son of 

Donald son of 
Gillespie son of 
Angus son of 
Donald son of 
Somerled son of 
Ferchard son of 
Dunslebhe son of 


Genelach mhic Eogain na 


Baltuir mac 
Eoin mic 
Eogain mic 
Gillaespic mic 


Saibairan mic 
Duinsleibe mic 
Aeda Alain renabarta 
Buirche mic 
Anradan mic 

Genealogy of MacEwen of 
Otter here. 

"Walter son of 
John son of 
Ewen son of 
Gillespie son of 

son of 

son of 
Saveran son of 
Dunslebhe so7i of 
Aeda Alain called 
Buirche son of 
Anradan son of 




Clans supposed to be descended from CoRC, son of Lughaidh, 
king of Munstei", of the line of Heber. 

Mungfhionn ingen Fearadaig-' 
Finn Feachtnaigh righ 
Cruithneach Alban-^ mathair 
ceithre mhic do Core .i. 
Cairbre Cruithnechan agus 
Maine Leamna a quo 
Leamnuigh an Alban 
Cairbre a quo Eoganaclit 
Muighegearrain in Alban -'^ 
Cairbre Luachra a quo 
Eoganacht Locha Lein 
agus Aois arta agus Aois 
Alia agus Aois greine 
Cronan a quo Cruithn 
rige Eamain 

An da Cairbre .i. Cairbre 
Luachra^*' agus Cairbre 
Cruthneachan amus diobh 
an Alban orba matliair 
do Cruithneaclianuibh 
Alban .i. Cairbre Cruth- 
neachan a Muighgearrain 
agus Maine Leamna a 
Muighe Leamna 

-7 From MS. T. C. D., H. 2.5. 
There is another edition of this 
legend in ms. Bod. Rawl., 502. 

-® The Bodleian ms. has Cruith- 
intuath, that is, Pictland. 

-" The Bod. ms. adds ' dia rabi 
Aengus ri Albain,' ' through whom 

Mungfinn daughter of Feradach 
Finn Fachtnaigh king of the 
Picts of Alban was the mother 
of four sons to Core, viz. 
Cairbre Cruithnechan and 
Maine Leamna from whom are 
the people of Lennox in Alban. 
From Cairbre are the Eoganacht 
of the Mearns in Alban. 
Cairbre Luachra from whom 
are the Eoganacht of Lochalein, 
Aos Arta, Aos Alia and Aos 
Greine ; 

Cronan from whom are the 
Cruithnigh of the kingdom of 

The two Cairbres viz. Cairbre 
Luachra and Cairbre Cruth- 
nechan, settled in Alban on 
the inheritance of their 
mother who was of the Picts 
of Alban viz. Cairbre Cruth- 
nechan in the Mearns 
and Maine Leamna in 
the plain of the Leven. 

was Angus, king of Alban, ' a name 
given by Tighernac to Angus, son 
of Fergus, king of the Picts, who 
died in 761. 

^" Cairbre Luachra is here inserted 
by mistake for Maine Leamna. 




Genealach Mormaor 


Donnchach mac 

Baltair mic 
Amlaimh mic 
Donnchach mic 
Amlaoimh og mic 
Amlaoimh mor mic 
Ailin mic 

Ailiu mor mic 

Muireadhaigh mic 
Maoldomhnaigh mic 
Maine Leamna mic 
Cuirc mic 

Genealogy of the Mormaers 

OF Lennox down here. 
Duncan {eighth cnrl af Lennox) 

son of 
Walter^- (de Fasselane) son of 
Awley son of 
Duncan son of 
Awley the young, son of 
Awley mor, son of 
Ailin (second earl of Lennox) 

son of 
Ailin mor (first earl of Lemiox) 

son of 
Muredach son of 
Maeldovnaigh son of 
Maine Leamna son if 
Core son of 

Clans supposed to be descended from the Kings of Dalriada 
in Scotland. 

First Group — Clans descended from Fearchar fada, son of Feara- 
dach of the Tribe of Lorn, king of Dalriada ; died 697. 

Genealach Clann Dubh^s 
Maelsnechta mac 

" From MS. T. C. D., H. 1, 7 ; 
aud MS. 1467. 

^- Walter de Fasselane married 
Margaret, daughter and heiress of 
Donald, sixth Earl of Lennox. His 
father Alan is by the peerage-writers 
identified with Awley, grandson of 
Aluin, second earl, but this would 
put him in the same generation with 

Genealogy OF the Clan Duff. 

Maelsnectai (king of Moi'ay, d. 
1085) son of 

his wife's grandfather. This pedi- 
gree supplies the omitted links. 

^■'' This genealogy occurs in the 
Books of Leinster, Ballimote, and 
Leccan, in MS. 1467, MS. Bod. Rawl., 
502, and T. C. D., H. 2, 18, where it 
is called the Genealogy of the Clan 
Duff, in the Book of Leinster the 
Clan Lulaigh, in MS. Bod. Ri Alban. 



Lulaig niic 

Gillicomgan mic 

Maelbrigde mic 
Ruadri mic 
Domnall mic 
Morgaind mic 
Domnall mic 
Cathmail mic 
Ruadri mic 
Aircellach mic 
Ferchair fhoda mic 
Fearadaig mic 
Fergusa mic 
Sneachtain mic 
Colmain mic 
Buadan mic 
Eathaig mic 
Muredaig mic 
Loarn moir mic 
Eire mic 

Ethach munreamliar 
MacBiad mac 

Finnlaeic mic 

Euadri mic 
Domnall mic 

Lulacli {king of Scotland, d. 

1058) son of 
Gillcomgan (Mormaer of Moray, 

d. 1032) son of 
Maelbrigda son of 
Ruadri son of 
Donald son of 
Morgan son of 
Donald son of 
Cathmail son of 
Ruadri son of 
Aircellach son of 
Ferchar fada son of 
Feradach son of 
Fergus, son of 
Sneachtain son of 
Colman son of 
Buadan son of 
Ethach son of 
Muredaig son of 
Loarn mor son of 
Ere son of 
Ethach munreamhar. 
Macbeth (king of Scotland, d. 

1058) son of 
Findlaech {Mormaer of Moray, 

d. 1020) son of 
Ruadri son of 
Donald son of 

Genelach mic Neachtaik ^^ 

Muiris mac 

Malcolum mic 

Muiris mic 

Maelcoluim mic 

31 From MS. 1467. 

•■'^ Maurice MacNaughton has a 

Genealogy of MaoNachtan. 

Maurice son of 

Malcolm son of 

Maurice son of ^^ 

Malcolm son of 

charter from Colin Campbell of 
Lochow of lands in Over Lochow. 



(libuin mic 
Fercliacr mic 
Gillchrist mic 
Domnaill mic 
Neachtaiu mic 
Artuir mic 
Gibuiu mic 
Neachtaiu mic 
Isog mic 
Gillamartain mic 
Aengusa mic 
Imhair mic 
Neachtain og mic 
Neaclitain nisin mic 
Neachtan moir mic 
Domnaill duinn mic 
Fercliair facia mic 
Feradaigli mic 
Fergusa mic 
Neachtan mic 
Colmain mic 
Buadan mic 
Eathach mic 
Muiredaig mic 
Loarn moir mic 
Eire mic 
Ecliach muinreamhair 

Gilbert=^° son of 

Ferchard son of 

Gilchrist son of 

Donald son of 

Nachtan son of 

Arthur son of 

Gilbert son of 

Nachtan son of 

Isaac son of 

Gillamartan son of 

Angus son of 

Ivor son of 

Nachton the young, son of 

Nachtan of the wounds, son of 

Nachtan mor son of 

Donald donn (or the brown) son of 

Ferchar fada son of 

Feradach son of 

Fergus son of 

Neachtan son of 

Caiman son of 

Buadan son of 

Eathach son of 

Muredach son of 

Loarn mor son of 

Ere son of 

Ethach munreamhar. 


Do Genelach Clann an Tois- 
iGH ANNSO .1. Clann Gilla- 

William agus Domnall da mhic 

William mic 
Ferchair mic 

William mic 

36 In 1292 terra Gilbert! MacNaughton. 

Genealogy of the Clan an 
toshach here, viz. the 
Clan Gillachattan. 

William and Donald two sons 

William son of 

Ferchard ((mentioned in 
1383) son of 

William son of 

From MS. 1467. 



Gillamichol mic 
Ferchair mic 
Disiab mic 
Gillacrist mic 
Aigcol mic 
Eogain mic 

mic mic 

Lochlaine mac 
Suibne mic 
Disiab mic 
Leoid mic 
Tsead mic 

Ferchar mic 
Gillacrist mic 
Maelcolaim mic 
Domnaill renabarta 
ill Caimgilla mic 
Mureacli mic 
Suibne mic 
Teadh mic 
Neaclitain mic 

Gillachatain o fuiled Claim Gil- 
lacatan mic 

Gallbrait mic 
Diarmada renabarta 
an Fear Leigbinn mic 
Ere mic 
Conlait mic 
Fearchair fota mic 

Gillamicliael son of 

Fercliard son of 

Shaw son of 

Gilchrist son of 

Aigcol son of 

Ewen son of 

son of the son of 


Lochlan son of 

Suibhne son of 

Shaw son of 

Leod son of 

Scayth (mentioned in 
1338) son of 

Fercliard son of 

Gilchrist son of 

Malcolm son of 

Donald, called the 
Caimgilla, son of 

Mureacli son of 

Suibhne son of 

Tead son of 

Nachtain son of 

Gillachattan, from whom de- 
scended the Clanii Gillachat- 
tan, son of 
, Gallbrait son of 

Diarmad called 
the Lector, son of 

Ere $0)1 of 

Conlaith son of 

Ferchar fada son of 



Genelach Clann Maelan- 
FHAiGH (Clann Gilla 

'^ From MS. 1467. 

Genealogy of the Clan 
Millony or Clan Came- 



Eoghan m;ic 

Domnall duibh mic 

Ailin maelanfaid mic 

Poil mic 

Gillapadniig mic 

Gillamartain mic 

Poil mic 

Mailanfaid mic 

Gillroid a quo Gillacamsroin 

agus clann Maelanfaigli 
o fuilid'*^ . . . mic 
Gillamartain og mic 
Gillaganiorgan (1) mic 
Gillamartan moir mic 
Gilleogain mic mic 
Gillapaill mic 
Eacada mic 
Gartnaid mic 
Digail mic 
Pouilacin mic 
Airt mic 

Aengusa moir mic 
Ere mic 

Ewen son of 
Donald dubh son of 
Allan Millony son of 
Paul son of 
Gillapatrick son of 
Gillamartan son of 
l^aul son of 
Millony son of 

Gilleroth,^^ from whom de- 
scended the Clan Cameron 
and Clan Millony, son of 
Gillamartan og son of 
Gillaniorgan son of 
Gillamartan mor son of 
GilleeAven son of 
Gillapaul son of 
Eacada son of 
Gartnaid son of 
Digail son of 
Pouilacin son of 
Art son of 
Angus mor son of 
Ere son of 

Second Group — Clans descended from Fearchar abraruadh, son 
of Fearadach Finn of the Tribe of Lorn. 

Genealach mhic Gilleoin"*^ 
Lochloinn mac 

Genealogy OF theMacLeans. 
Lachlan sou of 

^® This is the Gilleroth mentioned 
by Fordun in 1222 as a follower of 
Gillespie Macohecan in liis insnrrec- 
tion, along with whom he witnesses 
a cliarter as Gilleroth son of Gille- 

^^ There is a sentence here so de- 
faced as to be hardly legible. The 
words ' Clann . . . Maelanfaig agns 

rac an sreoin ic Gillanfaigh " may 
be made out, and imply that the 
MacGillonies of Strone were his 

« From MS, 1647, MacFirbis and 
MacVurich, Hector and Lauchlan 
have charters from the Lord of the 
Isles of Dowart. 



Eachduinu mine 
Locliloinn mhic 
Eoin mhic 
Giollacolum mhic 
Maoiliosa mhic 
Gilleeoin mhic 
Mecraith mhic 
Maoilsruthain mhic 
Neill mhic 
Conduilig .i. Ab Leasamoir 

Raingce mhic 

Sean Dubhgaill Sgoinne mliic 
Fearchar abradruaidh mhic 
Fearadhaigh reambraidhte mhic 
Fergusa, ut supra, mhic 
Neachtain, etc. 
Tri meic Eaingce .i. 
Cucatha a quo Clann Chon- 

chatha iccric Leamhna agus 

Cusidhe a quo Clann Consithe 

a Bhib agus 
Cuduiligh a quo Clann Conduil- 

igh .i. Clann mec Gille-Eoin 

in oilenaibh Muile 
Grilleeoin mac Mecraith tri meic 

les .i. Bristi, Giollabrighde 

agus Maoliosa 
Giollacolum mac Maoilosa 

tri meic les .i. 
Domhnall Niall agus Eoin 
Rioghnach inghean Gamhail 
Mormair Cairrige 
matJiair an trir sin 

Eachduinu (or Hector) son of 

Lachlan son of 

John son of 

Malcolm son of 

Maoiliosa son of 

Gilleeoin son of 

MacRath son of 

Maolsruthain son of 

Neill son of 

Cuduilig, Abbot of Lismore, 

son of 
Raingce son of 
Old Dougall of Scone, mn of 
Ferchar abrarnaklh son of 
Feradach, above mentioned, son of 
Fergusa, as above, son of 
Neachtan, etc. 

Raingce had three sons, viz. 
Cucatha^- from whom the Clan 

Conchatha, in the district of 

Lennox, and 
Cusidhe,*^ from whom the Clan 

Consithe in Fife and 
Cuduilig, from whom the Clan 

Conduilig, that is, the Clan 

MacLean in the island of Mull. 
Gilleeoin son of MacRath had 

three sons, Bristi, Gillebride, 

and Maoliosa. 
Malcolm son of Maoliosa had 

three sons, viz. 
Donald, Niall, and John.'*^ 
Rignach, daughter of Gamail, 

lord of Carrick, was the 

mother of these three sons. 

■*■- The names Cucatha and Cusi- 
dhe mean respectively the dog of 
war and the dog of peace. 


*^ Dofnaldus ^NlacGilhon, Johan- 
nes et Nigellus filii Gilhon appear 
in the Exchequer Rolls in 1326. 

•1 H 



Maoliosa agiis Eoin d;i inac an 
Domhnaill sin. Beatog agus 
Aitlibric a cilia ingen 

Niall umorro da mhac les .i. 

Diarmuid agus Giollacoluim 
Eoin din da mhac maithe les 
.i. Lochloinn agus Eachdlionn 

Lacbluinn cuig mec les .i. 
Eoin, Eachdhonn, Loclilainn 
Niall agus Somhaiile 
Fionnghuala agus Maria a dlia 

Eachdonn mac Eoin clanu 

lais .i. Murcliadh, Donnall. 
Toirrdhealbach, Eoghau. 
Tamas agus Gillecaluim 
Clann Crisitiona ingene 
Macleoid .i. Murcadh mac 

Tormoid mliic 

Leoid mhic 

Gillemuire mhic 

Raice mhic 

Olbair snoice mhic 

Gillemuire. Ealga fholtalainn 
ingean Arailt mic Semmair 
righ Lochlan mathair an Gil- 
lemuire sin 

Maoliosa and John were the two 
sons of the above Donald. 
Beatrice and Aitlibric his two 

Niall morever had two sons, 

Diarmad and Malcolm. 

John had long before two good 
sons, viz. Lachlan and Hec- 

Lachlan had five sons, viz. 

John, Hector, Lachlan. 

Niall, and Somerled. 

Finnguala and Maria were his 
two daughters. 

Hector, son of John, had these 
sons, viz. Murdoch, Donald, 

Chai'les, Ewen, 

Thomas, and Malcolm. 

They were the sons of Cristina, 
daughter of MacLeod, viz. of 
Murdoch, son of 

Tormoid son of 

Leod son of 

Gillemuire sou of 

Raice son of 

Olbair snoice son of 

Gillemuire. Ealga of the beau- 
tiful locks daughter of Har- 
ald son of Semmair, king of 
Lochlann (or Norway) was 
the mother of that Gillemure. 



Third Group — Clans descended from Donald donn, son of 
Fearadacli Finn of the Tribe of Lorn. 

Genealach Clann Labhran 


Eain agus Domnall agus 
Anilgolga oig mhic 
Colim mhic 
Domnaill mhic 
Eogain mhic 
Barthur mhic 
Ab Achtus mhic 
Aeid mhic 
Eogain mhic 
laig mhic 
Disiab mhic 
Gillacrist mhic 
Gillamicol mhic 
Pilip mhic 
Finlaeic oig mhic 
Finlaeic moir mhic 
Dubgaiil mhic 
Baltuir mhic 
Carlusa mhic 
Domnaill oig mhic 
Domnaill duinn mhic 
Fearadhach Finn 

^* Genealogy of the Clan 
Lawren here. 
John and Donald and 
Anichol the young, sons of 
Malcolm son of 
Donald son of 
Ewen son of 
Walter son of 

The Abbot of Achtus^^ son of 
Aedh son of 
Ewen son of 
laig son of 
Shaw son of 
Gilchrist son of 
Gillamichael son of 
Philip son of 
Finlaech og son of 
Finlaech mor son of 
Dougall son of 
Walter son of 
Carlusa son of 
Donald og son of 
Donald donn son. of 
Feradach Finn. 

Genealach Clann Aidannso*^ Genealogy of the Clan Ay 


Fearchair mac Ferchard son of 

Imair mhic Ivor son of 

" From MS. 1467. 

^■' The name of this abLut not given, but it must have been Labhran, 
from whom the clan takes its name. ■"' From MS. 14-(i7. 



Gillacrist mhic 
Gillaespic mhic 
(lillananaemh luhic 
Gillacrist mhic 
Cormac mhic 
Gillamitel mhic 
Aid mhic 
Gallbuirt mhic 
Gillacataii mhic 
Domnaill mhic 
Eogain mhic 
Pilip mhic 
Disiab mhic 
Eirdi mhic 
Aengusa mhic 
Finlaeic mhic 
Carla mhic 
Domnaill oig mhic 
Domnaill duinu mhic 

Gilchrist son of 
Gilespic son of 
Gillananacmh son of 
Gilchrist son of 
Cormac son of 
Giliamichael son of 
Aidh son of 
Gallbuirt son of 
Gillacatan son of 
Donald son of 
Evven son of 
Philip son of 
Shaw son of 
Erdi son of 
Angus son of 
Finlaech son of 
Carla so7i of 
Donald og son of 
Donald donn son of 

Fourth Group- 

-Clans said to be descended from Cormac, 
son of Airbeartach. 


Clans said to be descended from Feradach Finn through 
Cormac mac Airbeartach. 

Genealach Clann Ainnrias^^ Genealogy of the Clan 

Pal mac Paul son of 

Tire mhic Tire son of 

Eogain mhic Ewen son of 

Muredaig mhic Muredach son of 

Poll mhic Paul son of 

Gilleaiunrias mhic Gillandres son of 

■*" From MS. 1467. The Earl of Ross grants a charter in 1366 to Paul 
Mactyre of the lands of Gei'locli. 



Martain mhic 

Poil mhic 

Cainnig mhic 

Cristin mhic 

Eogain mhic 

Cainnig mhic 

Cristin mhic 

Gillaeoin na hairde mhic 

Eire mhic 

Loairn mhic 

Ferchair mhic 

Cormac mhic 

Airbertaigh mhic 


Martin son of 

Paul son of 

Kenneth son of 

Cristin son of 

Ewen son of 

Kenneth son of 

Cristin son of 

Gillaeoin of the Aird, son of 

Ere son of 

Lorn son of 

Ferchard son of 

Cormac son of 

Airbertach S07i of 



Genealach Ceann Cainnig^s 

Murchaid mac 
Cainnig mhic 
Eoin mhic 
Cainnig mhic 
Aongusa mhic 
Cristin mhic 
Cainnig^^ mhic 
Gillaeoin oig mhic 
Gillaeoin na hairde 

Genealogy of the Clan 

Murdoch son of 
Kenneth son of 
John son of 
Kenneth son of 
Angus son of 
Cristin ^^ son of 
Kenneth son of 
Gilleeoin og son of 
Gilleeoin of the Aird. 

Genealach mhic Matgamna 

anso sis 
Murechach mac 
Donncaig mhic 
Murechach mhic 

^ From MS. 1467 and MacVurich. 

* Gilchrist filius Kinedi appears 

in 1222 as a follower of MacWilliani. 

^" MS. 1467 has Agad by mistake 


Genealogy of the Mathe- 

sons down here. 
Murdoch son of 
Duncan son of 
Murdoch son of 

for Cainnig, correctly given by Mac- 

•" From MS. 1467 and MacVurich. 



Donnchach mhic 
Murechach mhic 
Cainnig mliic 
Matgamna mhic 
Cain nig mhic 

Duncan son of 
Murdoch son of 
Kenneth^- son of 
Matgamna {or Mohan) son of 
Kenneth son of 


Genealach mhic Duibsithi 

Domnall agus Niall agus 
Gillacolaim tri mhic 
Gillaespic mhic 
Gillacrist mhic 
Gillacohiim mhic 
Dubgaill mor mhic 
Duibsith mhic 
Murechach mhic 
Finlaeic cais mhic 
Murechach mhic 
Ferchair mhic 
Cormac mhic 
Airbeartaigh mhic 

Genealogy of Macduffy 


Donald and Niall and 
Malcolm the three sons of 
Gillespie son of 
Gillchrist son of 
Malcolm son of 
Dougall mor son of 
Dubshithe {or Dvffy) son of 
Murdoch son of 
Finlaech cas son of 
Murdoch son of 
Ferchard son of 
Cormac son of 
Airbertach son of 


Clans said to be descended from Fearchair Abraruadh 

through Cormac mac Airbeartach. 

Do Genealach mhic an Aba The Genealogy of the Mac- 


Gillamure mac 
Eogain mhic 
Aengusa mhic 
Macbetliad mhic 
Aengusa mhic 
Gillamure loganaig: mhic 

Gillamure son of 
Ewen son of 
Angus son of 
Macbeth sou of 
Angus son of 
Gillemure Loganair 

son of 

*- Kermac Macmaghan appears iu the Exchequer Rolls in 1264. 
55 From MS. 1467. " From m.s. 1467. 



Ferchair mhic 
Finnlaeic mhic 
Donnchaich mhic 
Firtired mhic 
GiUafaelan mhic 
Gillamartan mhic 
Firtiread mhic 
Loairn mhic 
Fearchar mhic 
Cormac mhic 
Airbeartaigh mhic 
Ere mhic 

Domnaill duinn mhic 
Fercliar abraruadh mhic 

Ferchard son of 
Finnlaech son of 
Duncan son of 
Firtired son of 
Gillafaelan son of 
Gillamartan son of 
Firtired son of 
Lorn son of 
Ferchard son of 
Cormac son of 
Airbertach son of 
Ere son of 
Donald doim son of 
Per char Abraruadh son of 


Clans said to be descended from Fearohar fada through 
Cormac mac Airbertach. 

Genealach Clann Grigair^^ 

Malcolaim mac 
Padruic mhic 
Eoin mhic 
Gregair mhic 
Donnchaich mhic 
Maeilcolaim mhic 
Gillacrist mhic 
Ferchair mhic 
Muredaigh mhic 
Ainnrias mhic 
Cormac mhic 
Airbertaigh mhic 
Fearchar oig mhic 
Fearchair fada mhic 
Fearadach finn 

Genealogy of the Clan 

Malcolm son of 
Patrick son of 
John son of 
Gregor son of 
Duncan son of 
Malcolm son of 
Gillchrist son of 
Ferchard son of 
Murdoch son of 
Anurias (or Andreiv) son of 
Cormac son of 
Airbertach son of 
Fercliar og son of 
Ferchar fada son of 
Feradach finn. 
55 From MS. 1467. 




Clans said to be descended from Fearchar fada tlirough 
Macbeth, son of Finlaech, and Corraac mac Airbeitach. 

DoGenealachClann Guaire'"^^' 

Ceallach mac 

Poil mhic 

Cellach in enig mhic 

Turcaill mhic 

Ceallaig mhic 

Guaire mhic 

Cormaic mhic 

Arbertaig mhic 

Murechach mhic 

Fearchair [oig] mhic 

Mic Beathaidh mhic 

Finlaeic mhic 

Fearchar fada mhic 

Fearadaig mhic 


Turcuill Guaire agus Cormac 
tri meic eile Poil mhic Ceal- 
laig anoinigh 

The Genealogy of the Clan 

Cellach son of 

Paul son of 

Cellach, the liberal, son of 

Torquill son of 

Cellach son of 

Guaire (or Quavrii) son of 

Cormac son of 

Airbei'tacli son of 

Murechach son of 

Ferchach og son rf 

Macbeth son of 

Finnlaech son of 

Ferchar fada son of 

Feradach son of 


Torquill, Guaire, and Cormac. 
three other sons of Paul, sou 
of Cellach, the liberal. 

Do Genealach mhic Fin- 


Niall mac 
Gillabrigde mhic 
Eogain mhic 
Gillabrio-de mhic 

The Genealogy of the Mac- 
Niall son of 
Gillebride son of 
Ewen son of 
Gillebride son of 

From MS. 1467 and MacFirbis. ^' From MS. 1467 and INIacFirbis. 



Sean Eogain niliic 
Finlaeic mhic 

Fiiigainne o failed Clann Fin- 
gaine mhic 

Cormac mhic 
Airbeartaigh mhic 
Murchertaigh mhic 
Fearchair oig etc. 
Fionnguine Ab Hi dearbhra- 

thair do Niall mhic Gille- 


Old Eweii son of 

Finlaecli son of 

Fingaine, from whom came the 

Clan Fingaine (or Mad-in- 

nons) son of 
Cormac son of 
Airbertacli son of 
Muircliertach son of 
Ferchar og dc. 
Fingaine Abl:)ot of lona was 

brother-german of Niall son 

of Gillebride. 

Genealach mhicGilla maoil^^ 

Gillacoluim og mac 

Gillacoluim moir mhic 

Maolmnire mhic 

Cainn mhic 

Dubgaill mhic 

Gillacoluim mhic 

Gillacrist dar comhaimn an 

Gillamaol agus Clann an 

Mail mhic 

Cormaic mhic 
Airbeartaigh reamraieth 
a se an tairbertach sin 
do aitreabh da threibh deg 
i Fionnlochlannach .i. 
Greagraidhe na ngaisgeath- 
ach das comainim Muile 
agus Tir no Tire aodha agus 
Cruibhinis, no Craobliinis 

Genealogy of the MacMil- 


Malcolm the young, son of 
Malcolm mor son of 
Maolmure son of 
Cainn son of 
Dougall son of 
Malcolm son of 

Gillchrist, called an Gillamaol 
{or the tonsured servant) from 
whom are the Clan an Mail 
{or MacMillans) son of 
Cormac son of 
Airbertacli aforesaid 
This Airbertacli had twelve 
tribes inhabiting the Nor- 
wegian territory, viz. Grea- 
graid of the Champions, 
commonly called Mull and 
Tiroda (Tiree) and Cruibh- 
inis or Craobhinis {or Island 
of Bushes).^^ 

' From MS. 1467 and MacFirbis. 

' This is said to be an old name for lona. 





Anuirochach luhic ^lurdoch son of 

inhic son of 

mhic son of 

jMurechach inhic ^Murdoch sou of 

mhic son of 

Donnchach mhic Duncan son of 

Nicail mhic Nicail son of 

Gillaagamnan o fuil an tine^^ Gillaagamnan, from whom came 

mhic the clan, son of 

Cormac mhic Cormac son of 

Airbertaigh Airbertach. 

''" From MS. 14G7. Some of the uames cauuot be read. 
'■'^ The Clan is here called Fine. 



Abbacia or Abthanrie, deliuition of, 
ii. 343, 393 ; iii. 261, 283. 

Abbacy, law of succession to, ii. 06. 

Aberbuthnot, thanage of, iii. 259. 

Abercorn (Aebbercurnig), i. 368 ; 
monastery, 133, 262, 268 ; ii. 224. 

Aberdeen, bishopric of, ii. 378 ; than- 
age of, iii. 86, 253. 

Aberdour (Fifeshire), chiirch of, dedi- 
cated to St. Fillan, ii. 33. 

Aberkerdor, thanage of, iii. 251. 

Aberlemno (Aberlemenach), thanage 
of, iii. 262, 264. 

Abernethy (site of Orrea '!), i. 74 ; 
church of, said to be founded by 
Nectan, 135 ; ii. 32 ; also by Gar- 
nard, i. 305 ; homage of Malcolm 
Ceannmor at, 424 ; church of, dedi- 
cated to St. Bridget, ii. 309, 326 ; 
I'ound tower of, built by Irish 
clergy, femp. Kenneth MacAlpin, 
309-10 ; primacy transferred to, ib. 

Abers and Invers, on tlie distribution 
of, i. 220-222. 

Aberte. See Dunaverty. 

Aboyne. See Obeyn. 

Abravannus, river (the Luce), i. 66. 

Abthanries, iii. 83, 261, 283. 

Acca, bishop in Hex-ham, i. 275 ;ii. 222. 

Adamnan, ninth abbot of Hii or lona, 
i. 245, 269 ; his first mission to Nor- 
thumbria, ii. 170 ; repairs tlie mon- 
astery of lona, 171 ; second mission 
to Northumbria, 171 ; is converted 
to the prevalent manner of keeping 
Easter, 172 ; attends the Synod of 
Tara, 173 ; his death, 173. 

Adamnan's Life of Columha, i. 28. 

Add, river, i. 68, 216 ; iii. 129. 

Adhelstan, (legendary) king of the 
Saxons, i. 297-299. 

Adrian, St., legend of, i. 320 ; ii. 311. 

Aebba, first abbess of Goldingham, 
ii. 200. 

Aed, son of Boanta, Dalriada gov- 
erned by, i. 305, 308. 

Aed, son of Kenneth, king of the 
Picts (A.D. 877), i. 328-9. 

Aed, son of Neill, king of Ireland, i. 

Aeda Allan, head of the Cinel Eoghan, 
defeats Flaithbertach, king of Ire- 
land, i. 289-90. 

Aedh (Aed Finn), son of Eachach, 
slain in attempting to restore the 
kingdom of Dalriada, i. 300. 

Aedh, king of Ailech, gives battle to 
the fleet of the Gallgaidhel, i. 312. 

Aedh Finnliath, king of Ireland,!. 313. 

Aedilbald, king of Mercia, invades 
Northumbria (a.d. 740), i. 291. 

Aedilfrid, king of Bernicia and Deira, 
i. 236, 239, 244 ; his sons take re- 
fuge in lona, ii. 153. 

Aeduin (Edwyn), son of Ella, ex- 
pelled from his kingdom of Deira 
by Aedilfrid, regains it and also 
Bernicia, i. 239, 240 ; his name left 
in Edwinesburg (Edinburgh), 240 ; 
his conversion to Christianity, and 
baptism at York, ii. 154 ; slain at 
Hatfield, i. 243 ; ii. 155. 

Aelfred the Great, his struggles with 
the Danes, i. 349. 

Aelric, uncle of Aeduin, i. 244. 

Aethelstan (a.d. 925-40), grandson of 
Aelfred the Great, attacks Nor- 
thumbria, i. 351, and invades Al- 
ban, 352 ; league of the northern 
populations against him, 352-53 ; 
victories in the battle of Brunan- 
burg, 353-60 ; his death, 359. 

Aetius, his aid asked for by the 
Britons, i. 144, 148. 

Agned, Mt. (Edinburgh), i. 153, 238. 

Agrestes, laws relating to, iii. 244. 

Agricola, Julius, his arrival in Britain 
as governor, i. 41 ; extent of the 
Roman province at this time, 41, 
42; favourable circumstances under 
whicli his government commenced, 
42 ; characteristics of his adminis- 



tration, 4'i ; d