`M.S. West Highland Tales Vol. VII`, consisting of unpublished notes compiled by John Francis Campbell in connexion with the ‘Popular Tales of the West Highlands’ project. Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Level of Description
Gaelic; Scottish Gaelic


  • 1859-1861. (Creation)


  • 0.00 Linear metres (Whole)
    189 folios.



  • Language of Materials

    EnglishScottish Gaelic

  • Scope and Contents

    On the front flyleaf Campbell noted, 1869: `This volume contains a lot of notes that may yet be used’.

    The contents of the manuscript are as follows:

    (i) A note, 1859, on `The two Thieves`, a story recalled by Campbell. (Folio 1.)

    (ii) “Extracts from Remarks in the ‘Stirling Journal’, 5 September 1856, on Lord Neaves` Dissertation on the Ossianic Controversy”. (Folio 3.)

    (iii) Brief notes on the Kilbride, Lismore and other Gaelic manuscripts, 1859. (Folio 4.)

    (iv) Miscellaneous notes including Islay recollections of John Crawfurd, Governor of Singapore, on the recitation of heroic poetry etc., 1859 (folio 5); notes from books received, June 1859 (folios 7-11); and a brief note on Ewen MacLachlan’s ‘Analysis’ (folio 11) of the Gaelic manuscripts of the Highland Society, now Adv.MS.72.3.4. (Folio 5.)

    (v) A note on three Gaelic manuscripts, lent to Campbell by Mr Bain, Secretary to the Celtic Society of London. (Folio 23.)

    (vi) Notes, 1860, on a copy by Alexander Grosart, Kinross, of a manuscript collection by Peter Buchan (1750-1854), the collector and editor of Scots tales and ballads. (Folio 25.)

    (vii) Part of a letter report of Hector MacLean to Campbell, 13 February 1860, describing the following tradition-bearers in South and North Uist, Barra and Berneray: Patrick Smith, South Uist; John Smith, Poll a` Charragh; Donald MacPhie, Iochdar; Hector Mclsaac, Iochdar, Kenneth Boyd, Carnish; Malcolm McLean, Lochmaddy; Alexander MacNeill, Kentangval; Roderick MacNeill, Glen; Hector Boyd, Castlebay; Roderick MacLean, Kentangval; Marion Gillies, Portnanlong; Alexander MacDonald, [Portnanlong]; Christian MacDonald, Truimsgarry; Elizabet MacGilvray, née McAskill, Berneray; Donald MacKillop, Busgary, Berneray. (Folio 33.)

    (viii) Six lines in Gaelic forming the preamble to the tale ‘Cath nan Eun`, Campbell’s phonetic renderings, and three pieces of English translation. (Folio 36.)

    (ix) Further notes on Gaelic and comparative phonetics, lists of vocabulary relating to Christianity and the Church and to other subjects, 1860. (Folio 40.)

    (x) Some Gaelic idiomatic expressions with explanatory translations in the hand of Hector MacLean, undated. (Folio 89.)

    (xi) Notes by Campbell on ‘Supernatural history` and superstitions (folio 90a), ‘Gaelic Language’ (folio 96), Sanskrit vocabulary (folio 111), ‘Arabian Nights’ and other traditional tales (folio 118), ‘Translation’, grammar and related subjects (folio 125), including (folio 137) a draft statement about his aims and methods. (Folio 90a.)

    (xii) Lists, 1860, of Ossianic poems orally collected. (Folio 151.)

    (xiii) Notes from ‘Reliques of Irish Poetry’ by ‘Miss Brooke, 1789’, that is, Charlotte Brooke (died 1793) (folio 156); and (folio 160) from ‘Ancient Irish Minstrelry’. (Folio 156.)

    (xiv) `Outline of Postscript`. (Folio 172.)

    (xv) List of manuscripts of tales recorded by, and returned to the Reverend Dr Thomas MacLauchlan of Edinburgh, 1860, and a list of stories sent to printer or arranged for ‘Popular Tales of the West Highlands’, volume 3. (Folio 174.)

    (xvi) Notes on ‘Les Romans de la Table Ronde’ by Théodore Claude Henri, Vicomte Hersart de la Villemarqué. (Folio 176.)

    (xvii) List of books sent to Hector MacLean, 1861. (Folio 181.)

    (xviii) Notes of Campbell entitled `The humble but mystic Birth of the Hero’. (Folio 186.)

    (xix) Notes on the ancient gods. (Folio 189.)

  • Related Materials


  • Bibliography

    ‘Stirling Journal’.

    Brooke, Charlotte. ‘Reliques of Irish Poetry’ (Dublin, 1789).

    Drummond, William Hamilton. ‘Ancient Irish Minstrelry’ (Dublin, 1752).

    Henri, Théodore Claude. ‘Les Romans de la Table Ronde’ (3rd edition, 1860).