Obrazy na stronie

After surveying these different tribes, we come now to that which has long given its name to the northern division of the island. The Scots are not mentioned, as a people, by any writer of the first or second centuries. In the third century, we find them mentioned as an Irish tribe, or rather as the leading people of Ireland. It appears, by a mass of evidence which Mr Chalmers has collected, that Ireland was then known by the name of Scotland. This people seem to have derived their name from their roving disposition. In the third century, Cairbre Riada, a cousin of Cormac, conquered Ulster, then inhabited by a race called the Cruithne. This country was called from the conqueror Dalriada, and was occupied by his descendants. It was in the beginning of the sixth century, that Fergus, Loarn, and Angus, three sons of Erc, who then reigned over Dalriada, formed a settlement on the promontory of Caentir, now Kintyre, in Argyleshire; Fergus occupied Kintyre, Loarn the district which bears his name, whilst Angus is supposed to have possessed himself of the island of Isla. Scarcely any period of history is more obscure, than that which elapses between the settlement of these Dalriadinian, or, as Mr C. calls them, Scoto-Irish kings, in 503 A. D., and their ascendancy in 843 A. D. Mr Chalmers has exerted his usual industry to draw up a chronological view of their history during this dark era. After various wars and contests, with the Strathcluyd Britons on one hand, and the Picts on the other, the sovereign of the latter, who were the most powerful, was dethroned by Kenneth, and the Scots became the ruling people in North Britain. It has been supposed by some, that the Picts were the prevailing people; in reply to which, Mr C. thinks it sufficient to observe, that the language spoken north of the Forth, previous to this period, was Cambro-British; but after

Oct. 1808.

this time was changed to the ScotoIrish.

The following account, given by Mr C., of the constitution, customs, and manners, of this latter people, will be interesting to our readers:

In the succession, both of the kings, and of the chieftains, the dlighe-tanaiste, or law of Tanistry, appears to have been generally followed. The person, in the family, whether a son, or a brother, who seemed best qualified, either from abili ties or experience, to exercise authority, was fixed-upon by the tribe, for the succession to the sovereign or the chief. It is apparent, however, from the history both of Ireland, and of Argyle, that during the life of the reigning king, an heir presumptive was chosen, under the

name of Taniste, who commanded the army, during the monarch's life, and succeeded him, after his demise, according to the established law. Much of the dignity of the monarch was supported by the voluntary contributions of the princes, and chiefs, which were paid in cattle, in clothes, and utensils: the monarch was obliged to purchase the sup port, and service, of the princes, and chiefs, by similar presents. For these, they entertained the sovereign in his journies, and served him, in his wars, at least, during a stated period. In civil compacts, which were so feeble, and admitted of so much cavil, we may perceive what the history of the two people and the weakness of the society; the evinces, the imbecility of the sovereign, king could scarcely enforce domestic quiet, and the people were hardly able to repel foreign invasions.

A similar polity appears to have pervaded all ranks among the Irish people, the prince to the chieftain, both in Irefrom the king to the prince, and from

land, and in Scotland. The toparch governed his district, as the monarch governed his kingdom: and the chieftains ruled their territories, and their raths, or fortified villages, upon the same principles of mutual dependence of the higher on the lower ranks, and of the subor

dinate on the superior. Such brittle ties were easily broken: and during rude times, when the voice of law was but faintly heard, the performance of those reciprocal duties could only be in


duced, by assassination, or the breach of them punished, by the sword.

In the meantime, such was the law of Gavil-kind, which the original planters had carried with them from Britain, that the tenure of lands, throughout the country, determined with the life of the possessor. This law, under various mo. difications, continued to distract, and barbarize the Irish, till the late period of king James's settlement. A similar custom may be traced among the ScotoIrish people of Argyle, till more recent times.

The Irish women, of whatever rank, seem not to have been entitled even to the slightest possession of land, under the Brehon law. They were assigned a certain number of their father's cattle, as their marriage portion, which, in the Irish speech, is called Spre', that literally means cattle crodh also signifies both cattle and dowry, which, in those times, and in those countries, were synony. mous. We shall see, in our progress, a very notable instance of this Brebon doctrine, as to women, among the ScotoIrish: the Galloway-men universally rose, in support of the pretensions of a bastard-son, in opposition to the claims of three legitimate daughters of their late lord: and, it required all the power, and all the valour, of Alexander II., to enforce his opinion of law, and right, against the custom, and, perhaps, the privilege of the men of Galloway.


The herds of the Irish were so frequently within their contemplation, because, during a rude state of society, their flocks supplied so many comforts, that the Irish ternis, Sealbh, and Seilbb, which signify possession, a field, also con vey the idea of a herd, or drove. Irish had another law term, Toich, which, at once, signified territory, land, property, and natural right; whence we may infer, that the Irish jurisprudence did not much arise from positive institute. This intimation may be further strengthened by a consideration of the Irish word Guath, which signifies equally a manner, a custom, a statute. Yet, such is the copiousness of the Irish language, that it has a great variety of terms, which convey the notion of a law: but, we may infer, from those law terms, with their several modifications, that the Irish people had little of positive statute, or written law; their whole

body of jurisprudence, consisting almost entirely of traditionary customs, and local usages. It was no written law, saith Cox; it was only the will of the Brebon, or the lord. And it is observable, be adds, as their Brehons, or judges, like their physicians, bards, harpers, poets, and historians, had their offices, by descent, and inheritance; we may be sure, said he, that these hereditary judges, and doctors, were but very sad tools. The Brehon, or judge, when he administered justice, used to sit on a turf, or heap of stones, or on the top of a hillock, without a covering, and without clerks, or, indeed, without any formality of a court of judicature. This state of law, and condition of manners, may be traced among the Scoto-Irish, in Scotland, till recent times. Every Baron had his motehill, whence justice was distributed to his vassals, by his baron-baillie. Under the Biehon system, all crimes were commuted. Theft, rapes, and murder, were punished by a fine, which was called Eric. This term of Brehon law signified an amercement, a fine, a ransom, a forfeit, and also a reparation :this last meaning is probably the origi nal import of the word, as the principle of this rude jurisprudence was directed to the reparation, rather than the prevention of crimes. The mulct, or Eric, was, among the Albanian Scots, called Cro', saith Ware. The Regiam majestatem of the Scotish law hath a whole chapter; setting forth" the Cro of ilk man, how mikil it is."

It was an ancient custom of the Irish, which was called the custom of Kincogisk, and which is, that every head of every sept, and every chief of every clan, should be answerable, for every one of their sept, or kindred, when he should be charged with any crime. This also was an ancient custom among the Scoto Irish. And, it is remarkable, that both in Ireland, and in Scotland, this ancient custom was adopted into the statute book of both those countries, from the usefulness of the custom to the end.

The protection of bees was a great head of the Brehon law. Ireland was very fully peopled by this industrious race; and their honey supplied abundance of mead, the peculiar beverage of the ancient Britons, while the Irish husbandry did not yet provide corn for the distillery of aqua vita, North-Britain

still produces heather honey, for the breakfast of the rich, as well as for the physic of the poor.

In vain do the Irish antiquaries give ussplendid pictures of the learning, opulence, and the refinement of the ancient Irish: the laws of every people are the truest histories of their domestic affairs. While we see, that the wealth of the Irish tribes consisted of their bees, and their cattle, we may certainly infer, that they had only advanced from the first to the second stage of society; from being hunters, to being feeders of flocks. In this unrefined state, the Scoto-Irish long Continued, as we may learn from their rent-rells.

Were the lives of saints, during the period of saints, searched for traits of manners, several intimations might be found, that would exhibit many new modes of thinking, and many novel habits of life. The biography of St CoJumba, the abbot of Iona, has been ransacked, with these views. It is appa rent, that more of wretchedness, arising from penury, than of comfort, prevailed throughout the Dalriadinian districts, in every rank of society. Their best houses were built of wattles: and, of these shght, and rude materials, was built the abbey of Iona, whence issued, for ages, the precepts of instruction, and the ha. bits of austerity, to a rude people. The kings, and perhaps some of the chief. tains, had strengths, wherein they lived, and whence they tyrannized: during the sixth, and seventh centuries, they had, in Loarn, Dun-olla, Duna, and Creic, which were besieged, and burnt. Buildings of lime and stone, either among the Irish, or Scoto-Irish, were, therefore, late works of more intelligent times. The clothing even of the monks were the skins of beasts, though they had woollen, and linen, which they knew how to obtain, from abroad, by means of traffic: the variegated plaid was introduced in later times. Venison, and fish, and seals, and milk, and flesh, were the food of the people. The monks of lona, who lived by their labour, had some provision of corn, and perhaps the chiefs, who lived in strengths. But, it is to be recollected, that the monks were every where, for ages, the improvers themselves, and the instructors of others in the most useful arts. They had the merit of making many a blade of grass

grow, where none grew before. Even Iona had orchard, during the rugged times of the ninth century, till the Vi kingr brutishly ruined all. Whatever the Scoto Irish enjoyed themselves, they were very willing to impart to others. The most unbounded hospitality was enjoined by law, and by manners, as a capital virtue. Manufactures the ScotoIrish had none. And, every family had its own carpenter, weaver, taylor, and shoe maker, however unskilful and inadequate to the uses of civilization. The division of labour and of arts takes place only during periods of refinement.

Of shipping, every age must have had the benefit of some kind. The float was the most obvious. The Britons, and their immediate descendants, both in Scotland and in Ireland, used canoes.

The next step, in the art of ship-building, was the making of currachs, both in Britain, and in Ireland. These were formed by covering a keel of wood, and a frame of wicker, with the skins of cattle, and of deer. The currachs were, by experience, improved into roomy vessels, either for transport or war. In currachs, the first colonists must have emigrated from Ireland to Cintire. The enterprising Aidan performed his various expeditions, either of negociation, or hostility, in currachs. In them, the fate of the kingdoms of Cintire, and Loarn, was decided in a naval action, during the year 717, as we have seen, in the history of their civil wars.

From that history it is apparent, that every chieftain exercised, by whatever power, the right of making war and peace. Hence sprung the civil feuds, which desolated for ages, and barbarized the Scoto-Irish territories. From their mutual enmities proceeded, perhaps, the custom which existed among the ScotoIrish, as well as the old Irish, of giving a nickname to every person of any note. But it was only the chief of the clan who enjoyed the privilege of being call ed O'Neal, O'Brien, Macdonald, Macleod. Much of this practice we have perceived in the epithets which were uniformly annexed to the names of the Scoto-Irish kings.

Of the various practices of the ancient Irish, the custom of fosterage has been regarded, as a subject, for particular speculation. By this singular custom, which equally prevailed among the Scoto-Irish,

till recent times, children were mutually given, from different families, to be by strangers nursed and bred. The

lower orders considered this trust as an honour, rather than a service, for which an adequate reward was either given or expected. The attachment of

department in which active benevolence could be more usefully exerted, than in supplying this deficiency.

those who were thus educated, is said Literary Intelligence, ENGLISH and

to have been indissoluble: For there is no love in the world comparable, saith

Camden, by many degrees, to that of

foster-brethren in Ireland. From this

practice arose connection of family, and union of tribes, which often prompted,

and sometimes prevented civil feuds.

P. 305.

New Works published in Edinburgh. THE Gentle Shepherd; by Allan Ramsay, with a Biographical account of the author, and a Critique on his writings. With a head and 12 engravings, 4to. 18s. Encyclopedia Britannica, 4th edit.

vol. XIV. 4to. 18s.

Edinburgh Encyclopedia, No. 7. 3s.

Scottish Literary Intelligence.

MR RUSSELL, Professor of Clinical Surgery in the University of Edinburgh, is preparing to publish a work on Scrophula.

The Rev. William Morehead, Episcopal Clergyman in this city, has in the press a volume of sermons.

We are happy to understand that a school, on Mr Lancaster's plan, has been recently established in this city, under the patronage of the Benificent Society. The poorest children are educated gratis, while the rest pay a very moderate sum. The fact is, and it was noticed in a late number of this magazine, that the benefit of parish schools is almost entirely confined to country parishes, and that there is no city in the world more completely destitute than Edinburgh of institutions for the education of the poor. We know no


A of Alfred the Great, by the Rev.

LIFE of St Neot, the elder brother

John Whitaker, B. D. is in the press. has lately received a contribution from several congregations in the connection of the late Rev. John Wesley, amounting to nearly 1300l. It appears from the annual reports of this Society, that the plan of contributing to its support by local and congregational collections,

The British and Foreign Bible Society

originated in Wales, and was afterwards adopted on a large scale in Scotland.

Mr. Be four intends speedily to pub lish, in two volumes 8vo. Illustrations of Don Quixotte, tending to confirm and elucidate several real events related in that ingenious novel; to convey intelligence of authors and of books therein cited; to discover the sources whence Cervantes has adopted various stories and adventures, improved by the glow of his own fertile imagination; to disclose his continual allusions to works of chivalry and romance; and develope

the satire he employs to correct the fol lies and vices of the Spanish nation; with occasional reflections on certain doctrines and opinions which he advances or supports.

Mr. George Montagu's Supplement to Testacea Britannica is nearly finished, and will be ready for delivery by the beginning of October.

Mr. Laurence Dundas Campbell is engaged upon a History of India, during the administration of Marquis Wellesley, from the year 1797 to 1806; ship's system of policy, both foreign and comprising an examination of his lorddomestic, and a complete account of the actual state of the British provin ces, in all their relations under the operation of that system. To the history will be prefixed an introductory chapand character of the people of Hindos ter, containing a review of the genius tan; of the principles, constitution, and policy of the native governments; of


the relative situation of those governments respectively, and of the British empire in India; of the general state of the empire and its dependencies, during the administrations of Marquis Cornwallis, and Lord Teignmouth; and finally, of the political, civil, and military condition in which it was placed at the period of Marquis Wellesley's arrival in that country. The whole of this work is composed from official records, and other original documents, of which some interesting parts will be given in an Appendix. It will be illustrated with a general map of Hindostan, and embellished with a portrait of Marquis Wellesley. It will form two thick volumes quarto, and is intended to appear in the spring of 1809.

Mr. B. Boothroyd has in the press, and will publish as speedily as due attention to correctness will admit, a new edition of Bishop Newcome's justly admired version of the Minor Prophets, with additional notes on the prophet Hosea, from Blaney, and Horsley.

The remains of Hesiod, translated from the Greek into English verse by Charles Abraham Elton, Esq. will spee dily appear. They will be accompanied with a dissertation on the poetry and mythology, the life and era of Hesiod, and copious notes; together with a head of Hesiod, from a genuine antique.

The Rev. T. Stabback, lecturer of Helstone, proposes to publish, in two large volumes octavo, the Four Gospels, and Acts of the Apostles, with annotations, critical, explanatory, and practical, chiefly selected from the most able commentators in divinity, ancient and modern. To each chapter will be added, reflections drawn from some striking portion of its contents.

An Account of the Life and Writings of the late Mr. Joseph Strutt, embellished with a correct likeness of that author, is in the press.

Mr. Drakard, of Stamford, is printing a Guide to Burleigh House, the seat of the Marquis of Exeter; to be embellished with engravings.

Dr Smith will shortly publish a work, in one volume octavo, under the title of Botannical Illustrations, intended as a continuation of his Introduction to Bo. tany.

The Author of the Age of Frivolity has in the press a volume of Poems, consisting of Tales, Sonnets, and Characteristic pieces.

Dr. Andrew Grant, who has recently returned from South America, has in the press a History of Brazil, which will contain a geographical and historical account of that important colony, with a description of the manners, customs, religion, &c. of the natives; interpersed with remarks on the nature of its soil, climate, productions, and fo reign and internal commerce; to which will be subjoined, observations on the most prevalent diseases incident to the climate, with hints to new settlers on the most efficacious modes of prevention. It will form one volume, octavo.

The legislature of Maryland have passed an act for founding a medical college in the city or precincts of Baltimore, for the instruction of students in the different branches of medicine. This institution is established upon a liberal plan, and incorporated in perpetuity. It consists of a board, called the Regents of the college of Medicine of Maryland, formed, from the existing board of medical examiners for the com monwealth, and the president and professors appointed by the act. It may hold property to a value not exceeding thirty thousand dollars, exclusive of a lot of buildings. The regents may ap point professors and lecturers, who shall form one learned body, under the name of the Medical Faculty, with power to chuse their dean, and to do what is necessary for conveying instruction, and supporting discipline. The regents must meet at least once a year. The faculty shall hold at least one term annually, to begin on the first Monday in November, and continue not less than four, nor more than six months. At couvenient times commencements may be held, and degrees in surgery and medicine may be granted, after due examination and other proofs of sufficiency. Each student must have attended each course of lectures at least once, and frequented the classes of the college for two terms: and he must also have been privately and publicly examined, and have printed and defended a thesis, before he can be admitted to the honours of the college.


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