[General History of Scotland Contents]
I SHALL, without adopting any particular ʃyʃtem hitherto published, lay before my readers the earlieʃt accounts which have come to our hands of the inhabitants of SCOTLAND.
Several histories of Scotland have advanced circumstances, ʃome not only beyond all credibility, but impoʃʃible, in the nature of things, ʃuppoʃing them to have happened, that they could have come to the knowledge of the writers who handed them down as facts. A few glimmerings of ancient hiʃtory appear, indeed, in the rude remains of antiquity; but they are faint, and matters rather of curioʃity than information. The proof brought from a ʃimilarity of ancient languages is much more inʃtructive and certain, becauʃe founded upon facts which cannot be miʃtaken. It is to this fort of proof, and not to the wild dreams of the Iriʃh and Northern antiquaries, that I must chiefly rely for all the lame information I am able to give my reader of the origin of the Scots.
The language of the ancient Celts, while pure and uncorrupted, ʃeems to have been ʃpread almoʃt through the then known world; and it is, perhaps, the mother-language of the dead ones over all Europe, and the greateʃt part of Aʃia. But the pure Celtic appears to have ʃuffered many alterations through the progreʃs of time and of letters; and above all, from the intermixture of the inhabitants of ʃeveral countries, by which the provincial idiom of one country was adopted by the people of another; and every province or nation having a different articulation, the ʃyʃtem of the living and dead languages, as they now ʃtand, was formed by the aʃʃiʃtance of grammar and reaʃoning; but on the whole, the radical language, however diʃguiʃed or altered, is Celtic.
Wherever this language is ʃpoken in its greateʃt ʃimplicity, we may fairly preʃume that the inhabitants of that country are the deʃcendents of the primitive Celts, who lived there before the provincial alterations I have already mentioned, took place. The language of the inhabitants of the Weʃtern iʃles and coaʃts of Scotland being more ʃimple than that of either the Welch or Iriʃh, affords a ʃtrong preʃumption that it approaches neareʃt to the ancient Celtic.
The old inhabitants of Britain were called Guydhelians, and were, in fact, the aborigines of the iʃland, their language being the ʃame with that of the Celts. For this information we are obliged to the Welch antiquaries,1 and I can ʃee no manner of reaʃon to doubt that the Welch made uʃe of regiʃters and letters long before they were known either to the Guydhelians, the Iriʃh, or the Scots: for, though the Welch call themʃelves the ancient Britons,2 they can only be termed ʃo in contradiʃtinction to the Romans, the Saxons, the Danes, the Normans, and the other nations whoʃe poʃterities now people, by far, the greateʃt part of this iʃland. The Celts, the Gauls, the Cimbrians, and other nations upon the continent, ʃome time before the Incarnation invaded Britain from the moʃt adjoining parts of the continent; and driving the Guydhelians northward, took poʃʃeʃʃion of the ʃouthern parts of Britain, and were the Britons whom Julius Cæʃar found here at the time of his invaʃion.
This account is fairly deducible, not only from the words of Cæʃar, but from the authority of the Welch themʃelves, which, in the preʃent queʃtion, ought to have the greateʃt weight, eʃpecially as it is a teʃtimony which, in ʃome degree, affects their own antiquity, and nothing but the force of truth could have brought to light.
We ʃhall therefore venture to lay it down as a probable, if not certain, fact, that the Guydhelians, or the antient inhabitants of Britain, were forced northward by invaʃions from the continent, in the ʃame manner as thoʃe invaders were afterwards driven northwards by the Romans. Many veʃtiges of antiquity ʃerve to eʃtabliʃh this opinion. The Belgic Britons imported with them that horrid Druidiʃm which is deʃcribed by Cæʃar, and is no other than a corruption of Pythagoriʃm, equally repugnant to the principles of civil polity and of common humanity. Their temples were ʃtupendous, their religion bloody, and their learning jargon, as appears from antiquity, and the beʃt accounts we have of their conʃtitution and government. But the Guydhelians, ʃo far as we know, were infected with none of theʃe circumʃtances. Their religion ʃeems to have been purely patriarchal. No aʃhes of human or brute ʃacrifices are found about their places of interment, or devotion; no ornaments of gold or ʃilver are dug from their graves; and the places which are ʃupposed to have been ʃacred to their devotions, diʃtinguiʃhed only by a few rude ʃtones, void of all that ʃtupendous oʃtentation diʃplayed in the monuments of their Belgic ʃucceʃʃors. Their poʃterity, or the people whom we may ʃuppoʃe to be their moʃt unmixed poʃterity, ʃpoke a language which either was real Celtic, or more free from adulterations than that of the Belgic Britons.
At the time of the firʃt invaʃion of Britain by the Romans, under Caius Julius Cæʃar, fifty-four years before the birth of Chriʃt, the Belgic Britons had great connections with the continent, which ʃometimes furniʃhed them with princes; but no mode of succeʃʃion ʃeems then to have been eʃtabliʃhed. Though, during the time of peace, they were divided into ʃeparate principalities, yet, in time of war, they formed one political confederacy. At the head of this they placed that prince among them who was moʃt eminent for power, abilities, and courage; and this diʃtinguiʃhed lot fell, at the time of Cæʃar’s ʃecond invaʃion, upon Caʃʃibelan.
How far the inhabitants of Scotland were concerned in this confederacy, does not, to me, appear. It is certain, from the words of Cæʃar, that it was very extenʃive because we perceive the Britons excuʃing themʃelves from ʃending to Cæʃar all the hoʃtages he demanded, on account of the diʃtance from whence they were to be brought. I am inclined to believe that common danger made a common cauʃe; and that the Caledonians, who were the then inhabitants of Scotland, ʃent their quota of troops to ʃerve againʃt the Romans. Notwithstanding this, there is great reaʃon for ʃuppoʃing the manners, the language, the arms, and even the conʃtitutions of the Caledonians to have been very different from thoʃe of the Belgic, or Southern Britons. It ʃeems from the words of Tacitus to be unqueʃtionable, that thoʃe Caledonians, or by whatever name the inhabitants of Scotland were then known, were not of the ʃame original with the Belgic, or Southern Britons; and, notwithʃtanding all the çonjectures of modern writers, I can ʃee no reaʃon for not believing them to have been the anceʃtors of the bulk of the Highlanders of Scotland at this day, and as ʃuch I will conʃider them. It is true, the Caledonians themʃelves might have particular diʃtinctions of people among them, ariʃing either from their ʃepts or families; and nothing is more probable than that, as the Scythians were part of the Celts, there might be a particular ʃept among them, under the denomination of Scyt, from whence the Belgic Britons might form the word Skuit, and the Roman writers Scoti. As to the Picts, their denomination appears to have been entirely accidental, from their continuing (after they were driven northward by the Romans) to paint their bodies in the ʃame manner as they had done among their countrymen, the Belgic Britons.
Thus it is moʃt reaʃonable to believe, Caledonia, or Scotland properly ʃo called, was compoʃed of four different people. Firʃt, the Caledonians, who were the original inhabitants of the country. Secondly, the Guydhelians, who were the old inhabitants of the ʃouthern parts of Britain, but were forced northwards by the Belgic invaʃions, and were of the ʃame original with the Caledonians, whoʃe name is local. Thirdly, the Kin-ʃkuit, or the Scots, who were no other than foreign Celts, who came from the northern parts of the European Scythia, or, as Tacitus calls it, the Great Germany, and who were known by the name of Scots upon the continent, as well as in the Britannic iʃles. Fourthly, the Picts, who were the unʃubdued part of the Belgic Britons, and very different from the other three. Though it is impoʃʃible to ʃpeak with certainty of all thoʃe people, at this diʃtance of time, yet I think it is highly probable that the barbarous cuʃtom of painting their bodies was confined to the Picts, or the Belgic Britons alone, tho’, within a century or two, the Caledonians did the ʃame; and by this means the very name of Caledonians was ʃunk into that of Picts, as the name of Guydhelians had been before ʃunk into that of Caledonians.
As to the Scots, it is in vain to ʃeek for any æra of their ʃettlement in Britain. Perhaps, being better acquainted with the Roman diʃcipline upon the continent, they acquired ʃufficient power to make a ʃettlement in Britain; and, by being fed with continual ʃupplies from the continent, their name at laʃt ʃwallowed up thoʃe of the other three nations. As they are always mentioned ʃeparately from the Picts, there is reaʃon to believe those two people to have differed from one another in their manners, their dreʃs, and in moʃt other reʃpects, excepting that of language, in which, as we have already obʃerved, there was a ʃtrong affinity among all nations of Celtic original, as the Scots undoubtedly were.
Some learned men have, I know, been fond of ʃuppoʃing Ireland to have been the native country of the Scots; and this has been so confidently affirmed by the Iriʃh who were vain of their own country, and by some Engliʃh writers who hated the Scots, that the latter have acquieʃced in that opinion, however deʃtitute of authority, or common ʃenʃe, to ʃupport it. Ireland, undoubtedly, was peopled at the time of Ceʃar’s two invaʃions; but we have no authority, from any writer of that time, which directs us to the country from whence thoʃe inhabitants came. Strabo, who wrote under Auguʃtus and Tiberius Cæʃar, and Pomponius Mela, who wrote a few years after, ʃpeak of them as a people entirely wild and barbarous; and it is highly abʃurd to believe thoʃe writers who inform us, that the Scots, or the old inhabitants of Ireland, came, many centuries before the Incarnation, under the conduct of Mileʃius, from Spain to Ireland, where they lived under regulated government, and flouriʃhed in learning, arts, and ʃciences.
The truth is, navigation, in the times before the ʃecond Punic war, was ʃo rude, that even the moʃt poliʃhed nations would have found it difficult to have performed a voyage from Spain directly to Ireland. It is therefore, when we conʃider the ʃimilarity of language between the Iriʃh and the old Scots, more reaʃonable to believe that Ireland was firʃt peopled from Britain; but from what part of it is another conʃideration. St. David’s Head in South Wales, and Holy-Head in North Wales, are the two places in South Britain the nigheʃt to Ireland; but Ireland is very ʃeldom diʃcernible from either: whereas there is ʃome degree of probability in ʃuppoʃing Ireland to have been peopled from Galloway, or from Cantyre, in Scotland, from both which places a ʃmall boat has a clear ʃight of land all the way.
Though all this amounts to no more than a ʃtrong preʃumption, yet it is a preʃumption that infinitely outweighs thoʃe miʃerable authorities brought by the Iriʃh in ʃupport of their chimerical antiquities; which evidently appear to be void of all foundation. Add to this, that the country of Ireland lying neareʃt to Scotland, is much more rich and inviting than the oppoʃite ʃhore of Scotland. But whatever may be in this, all authorities agree that Caledonia was the name of the northern parts of Britain; that it was inhabited by a brave and independent people; and that Liberty took there her laʃt refuge, from which not all the ambition and power of Rome could entirely diʃlodge her.
It is foreign to my preʃent undertaking to be particular with regard to Cæʃar’s two firʃt expeditions; it is neceʃʃary, however, to take a general view of that hiʃtory.
After the invaʃion of Britain by the Belgic Gauls, a frequent intercourʃe was kept up between them and the continent; by which means Julius Cæʃar came to the knowledge of many particulars which facilitated his deʃcent upon Britain. It is certain, however, that he was greatly deceived, and that he little expected to meet with a warm reception from the Britons. He imagined either to find, or to render them, a diʃunited people; and that his glorious conqueʃts of thoʃe countries, from which they or their anceʃtors came, would ʃtrike them with terror. It is likewiʃe certain, from ʃeveral paʃʃages of Cicero, and other authors, that he expected to find great treaʃures in Britain. But though he was diʃappointed in his expectation, it is well known that the Britons had at that time, and long before, a trade with the continent; and were poʃʃeʃʃed of money or bullion, though, perhaps, they neither coined, nor paʃʃed it current in payments.
The first deʃcent of Cæʃar upon Britain, is with great reaʃon fixed to the twenty-ʃixth of Auguʃt, fifty-four years before the birth of Chriʃt. The Britons bravely oppoʃed his landing, and harraʃʃed his army in ʃuch a manner that he gladly accepted a ʃhew of ʃubmiʃʃion to excuʃe his return to Gaul. In proportion as the ʃeveral ʃtates of Britain had a connexion with the continent, we may ʃuppoʃe them to have been more or leʃs in the intereʃt of Cæʃar; but we have no room to believe that the hoʃtages and the ʃubmiʃʃions which he received from the Britons, were the acts of the whole iʃland; on the contrary, they ʃeem to have been confined to a few ʃtates in South Britain. This was far from compenʃating Cæʃar for the great loʃs of ʃhipping, if not of reputation, he ʃuffered, through the accidents of weather, and from the reʃiʃtance of the Britons. From his own account, the latter kept his legions in hourly alarms, till the ʃeaʃon of the year, and his own intereʃt at Rome, obliged him to return to the continent: and it is doubtful, from his relation, whether he gained any thing by his expedition, but the homage of a few ʃtates of the Belgic Britons, who, perhaps, already depended upon him or his friends on the continent. This is the more probable, as Cæʃar carried over with him from Gaul to Britain one Comius, a creature of his own power, who had great intereʃt with the Belgic Britons, and was employed by Cæʃar in perʃuading them into a ʃubmiʃʃion: but the Britons had too great a ʃenʃe of liberty to be thus deluded. So far from complying with the ambition of Cæʃar, no more than two of their cities ʃent him the hoʃtages he had demanded, though he ordered them to furniʃh double the number of what had been firʃt agreed on.
But Cæʃar’s great credit in Rome at this time obtained him from the ʃenate a thankʃgiving of twenty days, as if his viʃiting Britain had been equal to victory.
While he was abʃent, the Britons, foreʃeeing that he would make another attempt upon their iʃland, choʃe Caʃʃibelan to be the head of their confederacy, preferably to Imanuentius, who was killed in the diʃpute, and whoʃe ʃon took refuge at Rome. So great an acceʃʃion of intereʃt among the Britons haʃtened Cæʃar’s preparations for a ʃecond expedition againʃt them. He thought this a matter of ʃuch importance to his glory, which, at Rome, was the ʃame thing as intereʃt, that, to facilitate his deʃcent, he altered the form of his ʃhips, on board of which he put no fewer than five legions, beʃides horʃe; and thus he landed with ʃafety and eaʃe. The Britons, under Caʃʃibelan, had taken all imaginable precautions to harraʃs his army. They were encamped ʃo as not to be attacked without great diʃadvantage on the part of Cæʃar; and the ʃtorm, which damaged ʃeveral of his ʃhips, would have made any general but Cæʃar deʃpair of succeʃs. He acted, however, with that ʃpirit and reʃolution which is ʃo peculiar to his character. He repaired and fortified his fleet; and reʃolving not to be braved by the Britons, he drove them from their advantageous camp into woods and faʃtneʃʃes, where their reʃiʃtance was ʃo long and obʃtinate, that Cæʃar from his own account of the expedition ʃeems to have been defeated. He was in a great meaʃure obliged to the diʃunion among his enemies for the preʃervation of his glory, at this juncture. Caʃʃibelan had a powerful faction to oppoʃe him, which was ʃo well ʃupported by the friends of Rome, that in a few days that great man was deʃerted by all the princes of the confederacy, and obliged to defend his own dominions, which were attacked by the Romans; but not ʃo totally ruined as to prevent Cæʃar from giving him a ʃafe and honourable peace, and withdrawing all his troops from the iʃland.
We have no poʃitive authority to affirm, that the Caledonians, who are the principal objects of this hiʃtory, had any ʃhare in this glorious reʃiʃtance to the fortune of Cæʃar and of Rome. As their forefathers had been ʃeparated from the reʃt of the world, it is probable that their firʃt invaders found them as defenceleʃs, and as ignorant in the arts of war, as the Spaniards did the Americans; but we cannot well ʃuppoʃe this ignorance to have ʃubʃiʃted long after the Scots and the Picts were incorporated with them and the Guydhelians. It is reaʃonable to think that the Scots, many of whom at this time came from the continent to Ireland, as well as to Caledonia, were acquainted with the manner of fighting on the continent; and the Picts certainly had the same diʃcipline with the Belgic Britons.
The reader is to obʃerve, that I am now ʃpeaking of times about or after the Incarnation, when navigation was greatly improved, and when it is no abʃurdity to believe, that the Scots might fall upon means to tranʃport themʃelves from the continent to any of the Britannic iʃles. When I ʃaid, that Ireland was moʃt probably peopled from Britain, it is not to be underʃtood that all the Scots who ʃettled in Ireland went from Britain; it is poʃʃible ʃome of them might come from Spain, and other parts of the continent. But I am of opinion that theʃe were but a handful; that they ʃettled in Ireland after the Incarnation; and that they were enabled to make good their footing there by the aʃʃiʃtance of their countrymen, the Caledonian Scots.
We now approach to a period that brings us into the main thread of this hiʃtory. It is certain, that when Cæʃar retired from Britain he left no commander there, either civil or military; and Britain was, at this time, conʃidered as being ʃo independent, that neither the Roman ʃenate, nor any of the powerful competitors for empire after the death of Cæʃar, looked upon her as a Roman acquiʃition. She paid no tribute; ʃhe furnished no quota, either in men or money; and all the marks of ʃuperiority that Rome had over her, were a few priʃoners whom Cæʃar had carried off, who were ʃhewn about as curioʃities, for the largeneʃs of their limbs, and the ʃtrength of their bodies. Horace and Propertius, two poets in the court of Auguʃtus, ʃpeak of Britain as being unʃubdued by the Roman army; and Cæʃar’s army is mentioned in Lucan (who, it is true, was no favourer of his cauʃe, though an admirer of his abilities) as having been beaten by the Britons. Notwithʃtanding all this, it is certain, that after Cæʃar’s two deʃcents upon Britain, their connections with the continent were much greater than they had been before. The Gauls, or their neighbours, looked upon the Belgic Britons as their countrymen; and the diʃputes among the Britons themʃelves, occaʃioned a large party to be formed in favour of the court of Rome. At the head of this was Mandubratius, the ʃon of Imanuentius, the rival of the great Caʃʃibelan. This prince put himʃelf under the protection of the Romans, and his father had reigned over the Trinovantes (the people who inhabited Middleʃex, and ʃome of the adjacent counties) who probably conʃidered him as their lawful ʃovereign. Upon his death, he was ʃucceeded by Cynobelin, who ʃeems to have been entirely romaniʃed, and to have been in peaceable poʃʃeʃʃion of his paternal dominions in Britain. Notwithʃtanding this great advantage in favour of Rome, even Auguʃtus Cæʃar, then in full poʃʃeʃʃion of the Roman empire, did not venture to enforce the payment of the tribute which had been claimed by his uncle the dictator. He thought, indeed, that nothing but the conqueʃt of Britain was wanting to complete his glory; and he ʃet out three times at the head of large armies for that purpoʃe, and as often dropt his deʃign. It is true, he pretended that the ʃituation of his affairs on the continent did not ʃuffer him to purʃue it; but whoever conʃiders the character of Auguʃtus, can never imagine that any thing, but the improbability of ʃucceʃs, would have deterred him from attempting a comqueʃt which he ʃo ardently deʃired.
This conjecture is confirmed by the ʃentiments he entertained of this expedition towards the latter end of his reign, when he abandoned his deʃign of invading Britain, as a meaʃure inconʃiʃtent with true policy. His ʃucceʃʃor Tiberius was of the ʃame opinion and the frantic Caligula, tho’ his utmoʃt ambition was to have ʃubdued Britain, did not attempt it. Claudius Cæʃar, succeʃʃor in the empire to Caligula, found the ʃtate of Britain very different from what it had been in the days of his predeceʃʃors. A great intercourʃe had been opened between Rome and Britain: the more ʃoutherly Britons had imported into their country many of the Roman luxuries; and the Romans, without regarding them as a people over whom they had any claim of ʃubjection, treated them as independent, and not only traded with, but viʃited them; inʃomuch that Strabo tells us the Britiʃh princes offered votive and other preʃents in the Capitol of Rome, and the Romans began to grow familiar with the inland parts of Britain.
Thus much I have thought proper to premiʃe, in general, by way of introduction to the hiʃtory of Scotland, without troubling the reader with the hiʃtory of Gathelus, Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, and the fatal marble ʃtone which ʃerved Jacob as a pillar. It is next to certain, that the original framers of the fable of Gathelus, ʃenʃible that the Guydhelians, or Guithelians, were the old inhabitants of Britain, forged the name Gathelus, as they did that of Scota, and manufactured their high antiquities upon that plan.
I now proceed to the body of this hiʃtory, where I ʃhall inʃert, for reaʃons the reader will find, in his progreʃs, an account of the firʃt forty-four kings, which later critics have conʃidered as imaginary.
1 As for the inhabitants of Cornwal and Armoric Britain, although they live among Engliʃh and French, their language ʃhews, as you ʃee plainly by this book, that they were anciently Britons. But you will, doubtleʃs, be at a loʃs for that infinite number of exotic words, which (beʃides the Britiʃh) you’ll find in the Iriʃh of Scotland and Ireland. There are for this, as ʃeems to me, two reaʃons: I ʃay, as ʃeems, becauʃe we have no authorities of hiʃtories or other means, that may lead us into the truth, but comparing of languages. In the firʃt place, I suppoʃe that the ancient colonies of Ireland were two diʃtinct nations, co-inhabiting, Guydhels and Scots. That the Guydhels were old inhabitants of this iʃland, and that the Scots came out of Spain. So far, therefore, as their language agrees, either with us or the other Britons, the words are Guydhelian: and for the reʃt, they muʃt be alʃo either Guydhelian, loʃt by our anceʃtors, or elʃe ancient Scotiʃh. So the ʃecond reaʃon for their having ʃo many unknown words is, for that the Welch, Corniʃh, and Armoric Britons, have loʃt ʃome part of their old language (in regard they were for the ʃpace of almoʃt five hundred years, viz. from the time of Julius Cæʃar to that of Valentinian III. under the government of the people of Rome) as I have ʃhewed more particularly in the firʃt ʃection of this book. And thus ‘tis poʃʃible a great many of thoʃe words which ʃeem to us exotic, may be old Britiʃh, though we do not know them; according to thoʃe examples I have inʃtanced in P.7. C.I. Nor was it only North-Britain that theʃe Guydhelians have in the moʃt ancient times inhabited, but alʃo England and Wales: whether before our time, or co-temporary with us, or both, is what cannot be determined. But to me it ʃeems moʃt probable, that they were here before our coming into the iʃland; and that our anceʃtors did, from time to time, force them Northward: and that from the Kintire (or Foreland) of Scotland, where there is but four leagues of ʃea; and from the country of Galloway, and the Iʃle of Man, they paʃʃed over into Ireland; as they have that way returned, backward and forward, often ʃince. Neither was their progreʃs into this iʃland out of a more remote country than Gaul; now better known by the names of the kingdom of France, the Low Countries, and the Low Dutch.
“Having now related what none have hitherto made mention of, viz. Firʃt, That the old inhabitants of Ireland conʃiʃted of two nations, Guydhelians and Scots. Secondly, that the Guydhelians deʃcended from the moʃt ancient Britons, and the Scots from Spain. Thirdly, that the Guydhelians lived in the moʃt ancient times, not only in North-Britain (where they ʃtill continue intermixed with Scots, Saxons, and Danes) but alʃo in England and Wales. And, Fourthly, that the ʃaid Guydhelians of England and Wales were inhabitants of Gaul before they came into this iʃland. Having been ʃo bold, I ʃay, as to write ʃuch novelties, and yet, at the ʃame time, to acknowledge that I have no written authority for them; I am obliged to produce what reaʃons I have; and that, as the extent of this letter requires, in as few words as may be.
“I have already proved at large, in the firʃt and ʃecond ʃections of this book, that our language agrees with a very great part of their’s; and in the Iriʃh grammar, you’ll alʃo find that the genius, or nature of their language, in their changing the initial letters in the ʃame manner, &c. is alʃo agreeable to the Welch. And as, by collating the languages, I have found one part of the Iriʃh reconcilable to the Welch; ʃo by a diligent peruʃal of the New Teʃtament, and ʃome manuʃcript papers I received from the learned doctor Edward Brown, written in the language of the Cantabrians, I have had a ʃatisfactory knowledge to the affinity of the other part with the Old Spaniʃh: for tho’ a great deal of that language be retained in the preʃent, yet much better preʃerved do we find it amongʃt the Cantabrians. Now, my reaʃon for calling the Britiʃh-Iriʃh Guydhelians, and thoʃe of Spain, Scots, is, becauʃe the old British manuʃcripts call the Picts Fitchid-Guydhelians; and the Picts were Britons without queʃtion, as appears not only by the name of them in Latin and Iriʃh, but by the names of the mountains and rivers in the Lowlands of Scotland, where they inhabited; and there, probably, they are yet (though their language be loʃt) intermixed with Scots, Strat-clyd Britons, old Saxons, Danes, and Normans. As for the entitling the Spanish-Iriʃh, Scots, there wants no authority; the Iriʃh authors having conʃtantly called the Spaniʃh colony, Kin Skuit, or the Scotiʃh nation: no more therefore need be ʃaid to prove the Guydhelians ancient Britons. And as to the Scots, ‘tis only neceʃʃary we ʃhould produce examples of the affinity of the old Spaniʃh with the preʃent-Iriʃh, which we have not room to do here, but in thoʃe few words following, where the Scotiʃh-Iriʃh words lead, and the Cantabrian (which is the old Mountain or Pyrenean-Spaniʃh) are written after the Engliʃh interpretation.
“A, acha, a dike or mound, a bank; acha, a rock. Adhark, a horn; adarra, a horn, alʃo a bough. Agharta, deaf; gor gothor. Aile, ʃhame; ahal, chalque. Airneis (aivrneis) cattle; avre, abrec. Alga, noble; algo (ʃee the IRISH Dictionary). Aodhaire, a ʃhepherd. Arza; ardi, a ʃheep. Aoil, the mouth; ahol, aholic. MAT. 4. 4. 12. 34. 15. 11. Aon, good, excellent; on. Ar, our; ure, gure. Ar, ʃlaughter; hara, heri. ACT. 8. 32. Arcoir, near, neighbouring; hurco. Aras (atheras) a houʃe, a building; etchera. Arʃac, old; gaharrai. Arc, and arcan, a pig; urrum. MAT. 8. 31. 32. Aʃaith, enough; asco. Aʃnic, milk; ezne, eznec. Ahaʃc, a wood; hitz, hitzac. Athair, a father; aita, aitac. Atticha, to deʃire; eʃca. Avail, death; hivil, hil. Bacadh, baca, to ʃee, to look. Baguʃt, bequia, the eye. Bal, arbal, if, if ʃo that; baldin. Balla, a ʃkull; bull, bull-hegar. MAT. 27. 33. Banailte, a nurʃe; banlitu, ballitu. Beach, beixin, a bee; abexon, Hiʃp. Beas, a hand; bethe. Beat, a little; batzu. Biogherax, a two year old heifer. Bigawn, the ʃecond, alʃo a heifer. HEB. 9. 13. Birtan, ʃoon, quickly; bertan. Brek, pyed, motley. Bragado, a pyed ox. Hiʃp. Brog, a ʃhoe; abarca, a wooden ʃhoe. Hiʃp. Brugh, a town; burgua. Caill, injury, damage; cailte. ACTS 27. 10. Cailleach, a cock. Oilloac, hen. Can, until; aiceno. Cruineacht, wheat; garia, garian. Cealg (ceilgin) deceit; celaten. Cean, a head; gaine, in compound words. Ceard, a tinker; acetrero. Ceo, miʃt. Hea, and quea, ʃmoke. Cia (ciaan) who; ceinea, ceinec. Ciocar, a ravenous cur; chacurra. Cioghar, wherefore; cerga, cergatic. Cionas, how; kein. Cior, a jaw; cara, a face. Hiʃp. Colla (codlah) ʃleep; loo. Comhar (o comhar, Lat. é regione) comarca, a country. E’as, not (in compound words) ez. Eaʃadh, a diʃeaʃe; eritas. Eaʃgar, a fall; eror. Fadadh (and ‘ada’) to ʃtretch; heda. Fearrya, and ‘earrya, male, maʃculine; arra. Foeraich, wagers; foriae. Vid. F.S. p. 22. col. I. Gach, all; guizia, guzia. Gadaiche, a thief; gaichta. Gaoie, a lye; guo, gue, guric. Ger, ʃound; garraza. Thaire (yaire) laughter; barri, iri. Ghearg, red; gorria. Gheunav, to make; equin. Ghocar (docar) difficult; gogorra. Gigilt, to tickle.” – Preface to Llhuyd’s Gloʃʃography, or his Archæologia Britannica.
Mr. Llhuyd mentions many other ʃtrong ʃimilarities between the two languages; but the foregoing inʃtances are ʃufficient to eʃtabliʃh all I contend for.
2 As a great part of what I have here advanced depends upon the authority of the Welch antiquities, it is neceʃʃary that they ʃhould be eʃtablished before I proceed farther. About forty-five or forty-ʃix years ago, Mr. Wanley and Dr. Hicks laid claim to the characters in which the Welch antiquities are written, as belonging to the Saxons and the other Northern nations. Was this claim admitted to be true, the authority of the Welch antiquities muʃt be brought very low; for it is certain that the Saxons had no letters before the time of Auguʃtine the monk, about the year 600; and that the Iriʃh had not ʃo much as an alphabet till they received it from St. Patrick, who went from Britain to Ireland in the fifth century. The learned Mr. Llhuyd, in his letter to the Welch, prefixed to his Archæologia Britannica, refuted both thoʃe opinions with great ʃtrength of evidence; but as they had been maintained, and that pretty warmly, by two of his intimate friends, Mr. Wanley and Dr. Hicks, when he tranʃlated his preface from the Welch, he omitted all the part relating to that controverʃy which I shall give to the reader.
“We having for ʃeven or eight ages diʃuʃed theʃe ancient characters, and the Engliʃh having of late printed ʃome old Saxon books in them, they lay claim to thoʃe letters, and have given them the name of Saxon. On the other ʃide, the Iriʃh having in all ages, even to this day, uʃed them, do pretend that they were originally Iriʃh letters; and ʃay, that ʃeveral religious men of their nation having been ʃent to preach the goʃpel to the Saxons, taught them to write at the ʃame time: but no perʃon of either nation has ever mentioned that the ancient Britons alʃo uʃed the ʃame letters till very lately. (Mr. Humphry Wanley) the author of the catalogue of Northern books, in his Latin preface, after having exchanged ʃome letters with me on this ʃubject, and been informed that I had ʃaid we had a better right to thoʃe letters than either the Saxons or Iriʃh, all that he has written thereon is, ‘That the Saxons neither received theʃe letters from the Iriʃh nor the ancient Britons, but from Auguʃtine the monk:’ which is as much as to ʃay, that the ancient Britons and Iriʃh learned them of the Saxons. And this, the gentleman affirms (as if his word was ʃufficient) without vouchʃafing either to produce any ancient authority, or offer any reaʃons of his own to prove it, taking no notice of what I had writ to him, that thoʃe letters are at this day to be ʃeen in St. Cadwallader’s church in Angleʃey, on the tomb-ʃtone of Cadvan, king of North-Wales, who fought againʃt the Saxons and Auguʃtine the monk, at the battle of Bangor-Is-Coed.
“(Dr. Hicks) the author of the Theʃaurus Linguarum Septentrionalium, has given an inʃtance of the like ingenuity and impartiality, where he aʃʃerts, ‘That the manuʃcripts in the Bodleian library, which I mentioned in p. 226 of this book, are Saxon,’ though it is impoʃʃible but he muʃt know them to be Britiʃh by the interlineated words; for though he underʃtands neither Welch nor Iriʃh, yet he muʃt know thoʃe words to be neither Saxon, Gothic, nor Norman.” Ibid.