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their lives and the purity of their manners :
at the Reformation, when the innocent HIGHLAND SCENERY.
were involved with the guilty in the suffer
ings of the times, their house was supprest, The scenery and legend of Mr. James and the temporalities granted to Hay, the Hay Allan's poem, “ The Bridal of Caöl- abbot of Inchaffrey, who, abjuring his forchairn,” are derived from the vicinity of mer tenets of religion, embraced the cause Cruachan, (or Cruachan-Beinn,) a moun.
of the reformers.* Public worship was tain 3390 feet above the level of the sea, performed in the chapel of the convent till situated at the head of Loch Awe, a lake in the year 1736: but a more commodious Argyleshire. The poem commences with building having been erected on the south the following lines: the prose illustrations side of the lake, it has since been entirely are froin Mr. Allan's descriptive notes. forsaken; nothing now remains of its ruin
but a small part of the shell, of which only Grey Spirit of the Lake, who sit'st at eve
a few feet are standing above the foundaAt mighty Cruächan's gigantic feet;
tion. Of the remaining buildings of the And lov'st to watch thy gentle waters heave
order there exists no trace, except in some The silvery ripple down their glassy sheet ;
loose heaps of stones, and an almost obHow oft I've wandered by thy margin sweet,
literated mound, which marks the foundaAnd stood beside the wide and silent bay,
tion of the outer wall. But the veneration Where the broad Urcha's stream thy breast doth meet, And Caölchairn's forsaken Donjon grey
that renders sacred to a Highlander the Looks from its narrow rock upon thy watery way.
tombs of his ancestors, has yet preserved
to the burying-ground its aucient sanctity: Maid of the waters ! in the days of yore
It is still used as a place of interment, and What sight yon setting sun has seen to smile
the dead are often brought from a distance Along thy spreading bound, on tide, and shore, to rest there among their kindred. When in its pride the fortress reared its pile,
In older times the isle was the principal And stood the abbey on “ the lovely isle;"
burying-place of many of the most conAnd Fradch Elan's refuge tower grey
siderable neighbouring families : among Looked down the mighty gulf's profound defile. the tombstones are many shaped in the Alas! that Scottish eye should see the day,
ancient form, like the lid of a coffin, and When bower, and bield, and hall, in shattered ruin lay. ornamented with carvings of fret.work, What deeds have past upon thy mountain shore;
running figures, flowers, and the forms of What sights have been reflected in thy tide;
warriors and two-handed swords. They But dark and dim their tales have sunk from lore :
are universally destitute of the trace of an Scarce is it now remembered on thy side
inscription. Where fought Mac Colda, or Mac Phadian died.
Among the chief families buried in InBut lend me, for a while, thy silver shell,
ishail were the Mac Nauchtans of Fràoch 'Tis long since breath has waked its echo wide ; Elan, and the Campbells of Inbherau. Mr. Then list, while once again I raise its swell,
Allan could not discover the spot approAnd of thy olden day a fearful legend tell
priated to the former, nor any evidence of
the gravestones which must have covered INISHAIL.
their tombs. The place of the Campbells,
however, is yet pointed out. It lies on the the convent on the lovely isle."
south side of the chapel, and its site is Inishail, the name of one of the islands marked by a large flat stone, ornamented in Loch Awe, signifies in Gaëlic “ the with the arms of the family in high relief. lovely isle.” It is not at present so worthy The shield is supported by two warriors, of_this appellation as the neighbouring and surmounted by a diadem, the significa“ Fràoch Elan,” isle of heather, not having tion and exact form of which it is difficult a tree or shrub upon its whole extent. At to decide; but the style of the carving and the period when it received its name, it the costume of the figures do not appear to might, however, have been better clothed; be later than the middle of the fifteenth
and still it has a fair and pleasant aspect : century, its extent is larger than that of any other On the top of the distant hill over which
islạnd in the lake, and it is covered with a the road from Inverara descends to Cladich green turf, which, in spring, sends forth an there formerly stood a stone cross, erected abundant growth of brackens.
on the spot where Inishail first became There formerly existed here a convent of visible to the traveller. These crosses were Cistercian nuns; of whom it is said, that they were “ memorable for the sanctity of Statistical Account, vol. viii. p. 347.,
general at such stations in monastic times, have erroneously, and without any authority and upon arriving at their foot the pilgrims of tradition, assigned it as the dragon's knelt and performed their reverence to the isle," in the ancient Gaëlic legend of saint, whose order they were approaching. “ Fràoch and the daughter of Mey." There From this ceremony, the spot on the hill is, in truth, no farther relation beiween one above-mentioned was and is yet called and the other, than in a resemblance of “ the cross of bending."
name between the island and the warrior.
The island of the tale was called “ Elan na FRAOCH ELAN.
Bheast," the Monster's Isle, and the lake in
which it lay was named Loch Luina. This “ The refuge tower grey
is still remembered to have been the ancient Looked down the mighty gulf's profound defile."
appellation of Loch Avich, a small lake
about two miles north of Loch Awe. There The little castellated isle of “ Fràoch is here a small islet yet called “ Elan na Elan” lies at a short distance from Inishail, Bheast," and the tradition of the neighand was the refuge hold of the Mac Nauch- bourhood universally affirms, that it was tans. It was given to the chief, Gilbert the island of the legend. Mac Nauchtan, by Alexander Ill. in the year 1276, and was held by the tenure of
RIVAL CHIEFS. entertaining the king whenever he should
“ Where fought Mac Colda, and Mac Phadian died." pass Loch Awe. The original charter of the grant was lately in possession of Mr. “ Alaister Mac Coll Cedach." AlexanCampbell of Auchlian, and a copy is to be der, the son of left-handed Coll, was a Mac found in “ Sir James Balfour's Collection Donald, who made a considerable figure in of Scottish Charters." The islet of " Fràoch the great civil war: he brought two thou. Elan" is in summer the most beautiful in
sand men to the assistance of Montrose, Scotland. On one side the rock rises al and received from him a commission of most perpendicular from the water. The lieutenancy in the royal service. He is lower part and the shore is embowered in mentioned by contemporary writers, under tangled shrubs and old writhing trees. the corrupted name of Kolkitto; but time Above, the broken wall and only remaining has now drawn such a veil over his history, gable of the castle looks out over the that it is difficult to ascertain with any deboughs; and on the north side a large ash- gree of certainty from what family of the tree grows from the foundation of what was Mac Donalds he came. By some it is once the hall, and overshadows the ruin asserted, that he was an islesman; but by with its branches. Some of the window- the most minute and seemingly authentic niches are yet entire in the keep, and one tradition, he is positively declared to have of these peeping through the tops of the been an Írishman, and the son of the earl trees, shows a view of fairie beauty over of Antrim. the waters of the lake, and the woody Of his father there is nothing preserved banks of the opposite coast. In the sum
but his name, his fate, and his animosity to mer, Fràoch Elan, like most of the islands the Campbells, with whom, during his life, in Loch Awe, is the haunt of a variety of he maintained with deadly assiduity the gulls and wild fowl. They come from the feud of his clan. It was his piper who was sea-coast, a distance of twenty-four miles, hanged at Dunavaig in Ceantir, and in his to build and hatch their young. At this last hour saved the life of his chieftain by season, sheldrakes, grey gulls, kitaweaks, composing and playing the inexpressibly white ducks, teal, widgeon, and divers, pathetic pibroch, Colda mo Roon." But abound in the Loch. Fràoch Elan is chiefly though he escaped at this juncture, Colda visited by the gulls, which hold the isle in was afterwards taken by the Campbells, joint tenure with a water-eagle who builds and hung in chains at Dunstaffnage. His annually upon the top of the remaining death was the chief ground of that insatiate chimney.
vengeance with which his son ever after It is not very long since this beautiful pursued the followers of Argyle. Long isle has been delivered over to these inha- after the death of his father, Alaister bitants ;
for a great aunt of a neighbouring chanced to pass by Dunstaffnage in return gentleman was born in the castle, and in from a descent which he had made in the
the forty-five," preparations were privately Campbell's country. As he sailed near the made there for entertaining the prince had he passed by Loch Awe.
* Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. viii. p. 346 ; From the name of Fràoch Elan some and Pennant's Tour in Scotland, 1774, p. 217.
castle, he saw the bones of his father still to do their endeavour to extinguish the fire; hanging at the place where he had suffered, “ for," said he," it is the house of our own and swinging in the sea-breeze. He was blood."* The flames were soon overcome, so affected at the sight of the lamentable and Colda passed through the glen of the remains, that he solemnly vowed to revenge Mac Intires in peace into Glen Urcha, them by a fearful retribution, and hastening where he burnt and destroyed all within his return to Ireland gathered what force his reach.' From hence he marched enhe was able, and sailing back to Scotland tirely round Loch Awe, carrying devastaoffered his services to Montrose. He was tion through the ancient and original patrigladly accepted; and during the various mony of the Campbells. As he passed by adventures of the marquis in the Hielands, the Loch of Ballemor, the inhabitants (a Alaister Mac Colda was one of the most small race named Mac Chorchadell, and valuable of his adherents; and his follow- dependant upon the former clan) retired ers were accounted among the bravest and from their huts into the little castle of their best experienced in the royal army. Some chieftain, which is situated in the midst of of their exploits are recorded in the “ Le the Loch. Being in no way connected with obhair Dearg,” or “Red Book of Clanra- his enemies by blood, Alaister did not conpald," and fully justify the fame which they ceive that with them he held any feud, and received.
quietly marched past their deserted habitaAlaister was present at the battle of tions, without laying a hand upon their Inbherlochie, and after the action he was property. But as his men were drawing sent with his followers to the country of from the lake, one of the Mac Chorchadells Argyle. He entered the Campbell lands fired upon their rear, and wounded a Mac by Glen Eitive, and wherever he came put Donald. Alaister instantly turned : “ Poor all who bore the name of that clan to fire little Mac Chorchadell,” said he in Gaëlic, and sword. As he marched down Glen I beg your pardon for my want of respect Eitive, he crossed the bounds of the Mac in passing you without stopping to pay my Intires in Glen O, and in passing the house compliments; but since you will have it so, of their chieftain, a circumstance occurred, I will not leave you without notice.”-He which gives a lively picture of the extent returned, and burnt every house in Balleof the ancient respect paid by a clansman mòr. to the ties of his blood. The Mac Intires The power of the Campbells had been were originally descended from the Mac so broken at Inbherlochie, that it was not Donalds, and lived from time immemorial until Mac Colda had arrived near the west upon the border of the Campbells, between coast of their country, that they were again that race and the south-east march of the in a condition to meet him in a pitched Clan Donald in Glen Coe. Upon the de- fight. At length they encountered him on cline of the vast power of this sept after the skirt of the moss of Crenan, at the foot the fatal battle of Harlow, and upon the of a hill not far from Auchandaroch. The subsequent increase of power to the Camp- battle was fought with all the fury of indibells, the Mac Intires placed themselves vidual and deadly hatred, but at last the under the latter clan, and lived with them fortune of Alaister prevailed, and the as the most powerful of their followers. Campbells were entirely routed, and purWhen Alaister Mac Colda passed through sued with great slaughter off the field of Glen 0, he was not acquainted with the battle. Some time afterwards they again name of the place nor the race of its inha- collected what numbers they could gather, bitants ; but knowing that he was within and once more offered battle to Alaister, as the bounds of the Campbells, he supposed he was returning to Loch Awe. The conthat all whom he met were of that clan. flict was fought at the ford of Ederline, the Glen ( was deserted at his approach, and eastern extremity of the lake; but here the it is probable that the men were even then success of the Mac Donalds forsook them. in service with Argyle. Alaister, in his They were entirely beaten and scattered, usual plan of vengeance, ordered fire to the so that not six men were left together; and house of the chieftain. A coal was in- those who escaped from the field were cut stantly set in the roof, and the heather of off by their enemies, as they endeavoured which it was made was quickly in a blaze. Before, however, the flames had made much
• When the chieftain returned to his house, the coal progress, Alaister was told that the house
which had so near proved its destruction, was found in which he was burning was that of the the roof; it was taken out by order of Mac Intire, and chieftain of Mac Intire. The man of Mac preserved with great care by his descendants, till the
late Glen 0 was driven to America by the misfortunes Donald immediately commanded his people of the Highlands and the oppression of his superior.
to lurk out of their country: Of Alaister's directions for the proceedings of the ap: fate each clan and each district has a dif- proaching morning. In the battle he beferent story. The Argyle Campbells say haved as he was wont, and in the close of that he was killed at the ford, and a broad the day was seen fighting furiously with sword said to have been his, and to have two of the Campbells, who appeared unable been found on the field of battle, is at this to overcome him. Nothing more was heard day in the possession of Peter Mac Lellich of him : his body was never discovered ; (smith), at the croft of Dalmallie. The but when the slain were buried by the conLouden Campbells, on the contrary, assert, querors, his claidh-mòr was found beneath that Alaister escaped from the overthrow, a heap of dead. and wandering into Ayrshire, was slain by them while endeavouring to find a passage into Ireland. The Mac Donalds do not Mac Phadian was an Irish captain, who, acknowledge either of these stories to be with a considerable body of his countrytrue, but relate that their chieftain not only men, assisted Edward I. of England in his escaped from the battle, but (though with war to subvert the independence of Scotmuch difficulty) effected his fight to Ire- land; but though he took a very active part land, where a reward being set upon his in the turbulent period in which he lived, head, he was at length, in an unguarded and possessed sufficient courage and talents moment, when divested of his arms, slain to raise himself from obscurity to power, by one of the republican troopers, by whom yet we have nothing left of his history but he was sought out.
the account of his last enormities, and the The fate of Alaister Mac Colda is said to overthrow and death which they finally have been governed by that fatality, and brought. It is probable, that we are even predicted by that inspiration, which were indebted for this information to the celeonce so firmly believed among the High- brity of the man by whom he fell, and landers. His foster-mother, says tradition, which in preserving the victory of the conwas gifted with the second sight; and, pre- queror, has also perpetuated the memory vious to his departure from Ireland, the of the vanquished. chieftain consulted her upon the success of The scene of the last actions of Mac his expedition. “You will be victorious Phadian lay in Lorn and Argyle ; and the over all born of woman,” replied the seer, old people in the neighbourhood of Loch “till you arrive at Goch-dum Gho; but Awe still retain a tradition, which marks when you come to that spot, your fortune out the spot where he fell. Time, however, shall depart for ever.”—“ Let it be so," said and the decay of recitation during the last Alaister, “ I shall receive my glory." He century, have so injured all which remained departed, and the spirit of his adventure of oral record, that the legend of Mac Phaand the hurry of enterprise, perhaps, dian is now confined to a very few of the banished from his mind the name of the elder fox-hunters and shepherds of the fatal place. It was indeed one so insigni- country, and will soon pass into oblivion ficant and remote, that its knowledge was with those by whom it is retained most probably confined to the circle of a Some time in the latter end of the year few miles, and not likely to be restored 1297, or the beginning of the year 1298, to the notice of Mac Colda, by mention or Edward made a grant to Mac Phadian of inquiry. It was on the eve of his last the lordships of Argyle and Lorn. The battle, as his “bratach” was setting up at first belonged to sir Niel Campbell, knight, the ford of Ederline, that his attention was of Loch Awe, and chief of his clan; the caught by a mill at a little distance; for second was the hereditary patrimony of some accidental reason he inquired its John, chief of Mac Dougall. Sir Niel' did name:-“Mullian Goch-dum Gho," re his endeavour to resist the usurpation of plied one of his men. The prediction was his lands, and though fiercely beset by the at once remembered. The enemy were at traitor lords, Buchan, Athol, and Mentieth, hand, and Alaister knew that he should he for some time maintained his independfall. Convinced of the fatality of the pro ence against all their united attempts. But phecy, he sought not to retreat from the John of Lorn, who was himself in the inevil spot: the bourne of his fortune was terest and service of the English, and at past, and he only thought of dying as be that time in London, concurred with king came him in the last of his fields. He made Edward in the disponing of his territories, no comment upon the name of the place; and received in remuneration a more conbut, concealing from his followers the con siderable lordship. Mac Phadian did not, neçtion which it bore with his fate, gave however, remain in quiet possession of his
ill-acquired domains; he was strongly more stubborn fury; and for two hours opposed by Duncan of Lorn, uncle to the was maintained with such obstinate eagerlord; but joining with Buchan, Athol, and ness on both sides, that neither party had Mentieth, he at length drove out his enemy, any apparent advantage. At length the and compelled him to seek shelter with sir cause and valour of Wallace prevailed. The Niel Campbell.
Upon this success the Irish gave way and fled, and the Scots of above-mentioned allies, at the head of a their party threw down their arms, and mixed and disorderly force gathered from kneeled for mercy. Wallace commanded all parts, and from all descriptions, Irish them to be spared for their birth sake, but and Scots, to the amount of fifteen thousand urged forward the pursuit upon the Irish. men, made a barbarous inroad into Argyle, Pent in by the rocks and the water, the and suddenly penetrating into the district latter had but little hope in flight. Many of Nether Loch Awe, wasted the country were overtaken and slain as they endeawherever they came, and destroyed the in- voured to climb the crags, and two thouhabitants without regard to age or sex. In sand were driven into the lake and drowned. this exigency the Campbell displayed that Mac Phadian, with fifteen men, fled to a constancy and experience which had ren cave, and hoped to have concealed himself dered his name celebrated among his coun- till the pursuit was over; but Duncan of trymen. Unable to resist the intoxicated Lorn having discovered his retreat, pursued multitude of his enemies, with Duncan of and slew him with his companions; and Lorn, and three hundred of his veteran having cut off the head of the leader, clansmen, he retired by the head of Loch brought it to Wallace, and set it upon a Awe and the difficult pass of Brandir to stone high in one of the crags as a trophy the inaccessible heights of Craiganuni, and of the victory. breaking down the bridge over the Awe In one of the steeps of Cruachan, nearly below, prevented the pursuit of the enemy opposite the rock of Brandir, there is a to his position. Nothing could be more secret cave, now only known to a very few masterly than the plan of this retreat. of the old fox-hunters and shepherds : it is
Mac Phadian, thus bafiled and outma- still called “ Uagh Phadian," Mac Phanæuvred, not only failed in his object of dian's cave; and is asserted by tradition to offence, but found himself drawn into an be the place in which Mac Phadian died. intricate and desolate labyrinth, where his The remembrance of the battle is nearly multitude encumbered themselves: the want worn away, and the knowledge of the real of subsistence prevented him from remain cave confined to so few, that the den in ing to blockade sir Niel, and his ignorance which Mac Phadian was killed is generally of the clues of the place made it difficult to believed to be in the cliffs of Craiganuni : extricate himself by a retreat. In this exi- this is merely owing to the appearance of a gence he was desirous of returning to black chasm in the face of that height, and Nether Loch Awe, where there was abun- to a confusion between the action of Mac dance of cattle and game for the support of Phadian with Wallace, and his pursuit of his men.
At length he discovered a pas- sir Niel Campbell, But the chasm in sage between the rocks and the water ; the Craiganuni, though at a distance it appears way was only wide enough for four persons like the mouth of a cave, is but a cleft in to pass abreast; yet, as they were not in the rock; and the few who retain the danger of pursuit, they retired in safety, memory of the genuine tradition of the and effected their march to the south side battle of the Wallace, universally agree of the lake.
that the cave in the side of Cruachan was The measures employed by Wallace to that in which Mac Phadian was killed. relieve the Campbell, and to reach the fastness wherein Mac Phadian had posted himself, were romantic and daring-
The “ Bridal of Caölchairn” is a legen. Mac Phadian's followers were completely dary poem, founded · upon a very slight surprised and taken at disarray. They tradition, concerning events which are resnatched their arms, and rushed to defend lated to have occurred during the absence the pass with the boldest resolution. At of sir Colin Campbell on his expedition to the first onset the Scots bore back their Rome and Arragon. It is said by the tale, enemies over five acres of ground; and that the chieftain was gone ten years, and Wallace, with his iron mace, made fearful that his wife having received no intelligence havoc among the enemy. Encouraged, of his existence in that time, she accepted however, by Mạc Phadian, the Irish came the addresses of one of her husband's vasto the rescue; the battle thickened with sals, Mac Nab of Barachastailan. The