Reference Number117001
TitleFear-tathaich nam Beann
EditorClerk, Archibald
Date Of Edition1848-1850
Date Of Languagemid 19c
Date Of Language Ed1800-1849
DateMacroMid 19th c.
Date Of Language Notes
PublisherW. Gilchrist (Glasgow), MacLachlan, Stewart & Co., and later Paton & Ritchie (Edinburgh)
Place PublishedGlasgow and Edinburgh
VolumeVol. 1 of 24
LocationNational and academic libraries
Geographical OriginsVarious
Geographical Origins EdVarious
Geographical Origins Notes
RegisterLiterature, Prose (mainly) and Verse
Register EdLiterature, Prose and Verse
GenreLiterature and Information
MediumProse & Verse
Periodical, issued monthly over a period of two years.
Contains articles on a wide variety of subjects including education, religion, proverbs, crofting, the state of the Highlands and Islands in the mid-nineteenth century, emigration, and other countries.
Includes Gaelic names for places around the world.
Includes some poems and songs.
Alternative Author NameN/A
Manuscript Or EditionEd.
Size And Condition21cm x 12.5cm (24 issues bound in one volume in EUL, Sp. Coll.)
Short TitleFear-tathaich nam Beann
Reference DetailsEUL, Sp. Coll.: MackioColl.3.8
Number Of Pages758 over 24 issues
Gaelic Text ByN/A
Social ContextFor the circumstances which gave rise to this publication and the personnel involved in its production, see Text 108 (Caraid nan Gàidheal) and compare Text 133 (An Teachdaire Gaelach). 24 issues were published: the first in January 1848 and the last in January 1850. (There was no issue for December 1849.) MacNeill (1929: 514) states that writers who contributed to this periodical included ‘Lachlan Maclean, Archibald Sinclair, Campbell (the Glasgow publisher), and the late Rev. Dr. Archibald Clerk of Kilmallie’. Some articles carry the name or initials of their author, but others are anonymous.
ContentsEach issue contains 32 pages. Pages are numbered consecutively throughout the series of issues. Pp. 151-60 appear twice: at the end of V and again at the beginning of VI, which affects subsequent pagination. This is not the case in the NLS volume VI. The first page of each issue has the title and logo of the periodical, with a list of contents, in English, underneath. Each issue contains between 6 and 8 articles, which are numbered in Roman numerals. The first article begins on the first page under the list of contents. Each issue also has an article entitled Naidheachdan, which comprises a number of different news stories.

The contents of the first issue (‘Air. I’, i.e. Àireamh I ‘Issue I’) are listed as follows: I. Address to our Readers, page 1. II. The Burning Bush (the Symbol of the Church of Scotland); its Spiritual Import, page 5. III. Scripture Illustration (“Casting bread upon the waters),” page 10. IV. The History of Israel, as illustrating the fulfilment of Prophecy, page 16. V. The Church of Christ a Missionary Church (brief sketch of the Origins and Objects of the Five Schemes of the Church of Scotland), page 19. VI. Cottage Economy, No. I. (Gardens,) page 24. VII. Public News (Meeting of Parliament, State of the Money Market as affecting Trade and Employment, Condition of Ireland), page 28. VIII. Chloroform, page 31 (p. 1).

The contents for Issue XXIV are listed as follows: I. The departure of the Old Year, page 727. II. On the eternal condition of those dying in Infancy, page 731. III. “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,” or a Tale of Highland Destitution, page 736. IV. A Letter to the Editor on the Education of Children, page 741. V. The Arctic Expedition, page 746. VI. Emigration to Port Natal, page 750. VII. Gaelic Proverbs, (continued), page 752. VIII. Public News;—Austria and Hungary—the Settlers at Cape Town and the Convicts—Death of the Queen Dowager—Markets, &c., pages 754-58 (p. 727).
LanguageAs can be seen from the contents of the two issues described above, the articles in this text cover a wide range of topics. All 24 issues contain religious material, though the proportion varies. This includes sermons on Biblical passages, information on missionary activities, accounts of historical events relevant to the Bible, and other religious matters. There are also a number of moral stories. Examples include Mu’n Chrich Mhoir airson an do chruthaicheadh an duine—gu creideamh, crabhadh, no fior naomhachd a chleachduinn—Ciod iad so? (pp. 151-55); Cunntas Mu Choinneamh Ard-Sheanaidh Eaglais’ na h-Alba (pp. 162-76); Cunntas Ath-Ghearr air Ciod a Thathar a’ Deanamh Gus an Soisgeul a Chraobh-Sgaoileadh Feadh an t-Saoghail (pp. 225-29); a two-part story in Issues IX and X entitled A Ceud Ghin Spioradail (pp. 247-52, 279-85), being ‘an interesting narrative of the conversion and death-bed experience of a little girl’ (p. 247); and Cosamhlachd a’ Chruithnichd agus a’ Choguil, Mata xiii. 25-38 [recte 30] agus 36-43 in which the the biblical texts are given in full, and then developed in a sermon (pp. 286-91). There are also biographies of well-known Christians, e.g.: Cunntas Ath-Ghoirid Mu Mhr. Eoghan Mac Lachuinn—Sgoilear Ainmeil—A Chaochail ann an Abar-Eadhain ’s a Bhliadhna 1822 (pp. 133-38), Cunntas Aith-Ghearr air Edmund Stone, Sgoileir Ro Ainmeil a bha aig Inbher-Aoradh (pp. 223-25), and Cunntas Aith-Ghearr air Beatha Dhughaill Bochanan; Ughdar nan “Laoidhean Spioradail” (pp. 323-50 and 350-54).

There are a number of articles on foreign places, particularly in Canada and Australia, which were seeing an influx of Gaelic immigrants at that time. Amongst these, note: Aiseag a Nasgaidh do Astralia (pp. 156-57), Cunntas air Eilean Eoin an America mu Thuath (pp. 176-80 and 204-08), Cunntas air Nova Scotia ’an America (pp. 269-71), and Imrich do Phort Natal (pp. 750-52). The last mentioned begins: ‘Bho àm gu h àm tha sinn, mar a tha fios aig ar léughadairean, ag oidhirpeachadh gach fiosrachadh a’s urrainn duinn a thoirt seachad mu na cèarnan sin de’n t-saoghal a tha freagarach air son luchd-imrich. Tha mòran gluaisid aig a’ cheart àm so ’s an taobh-deas mu thuineachas ùr a dh’ fhosgladh air taobh na h-àird an ear-dheas de dh’Africa, mu dheich céud mìle sear air Cape of Good Hope; agus do bhrìgh nach ’eil aguinne bàigh ri àite seach àite bheir sinn seachad cunntas firinneach mu’n dùthaich so, co fada ’s a tha e ’n ar comas fhòghlum o sgrìobhannan dhaoine creideasach a shiubhail troi’pe’ (p. 750). There is also an article entitled Cunntas Aith-Ghearr air Innsean na h-Aird an Ear (pp. 485-91).

There is a series of articles on crofting, entitled Cottage Economy in English, and Caraid a’ Chroitear in Gaelic. These articles run over a number of issues, and introduce such topics as what to plant in which season, and the introduction of new crops and techniques. The article in Issue V, for example, contains information on Cultivation of Turnips—utility of Agricultural Societies—prospects of Highland Crofters (pp. 150-56). Issue VII contains information on the Backward state of Agriculture in Dumfries-shire, and other parts of the South of Scotland ninety years ago—uncomfortable houses and coarse clothing of the People at that period—their present comfortable condition may be attributed in a great measure to Draining (pp. 209-13). The thrust of this particular article can be gathered from the following extract: ‘Cha robh Galldachd na h-Alba daonan na machraichean torach, reachdmhor—na liosan maiseach, àluinn mar a chithear an diugh i. Bha mòran dhi na boglaichean bàithte—na raoin riamhach—na garbhlach clachach, cruaidh air bheag maith no brith—agus sin bho cheann beag ùine. ’S e tapadh, agus tréubhantas nan tuathanach a thug a’ leithid de dh-atharrachadh oirre; agus tha trì nithean gu sonruichte a chuidich iad ’s an atharrachadh so—’s iad sin (1) draineachan—(2) togail Tùirneip; agus (3) feòir-cuir, mar a tha Clover, agus Rye-grass. Ghabhadh na nithean so deanadh anns a’ Ghaedhealtachd; agus na’m bitheadh iad deanta thogadh na Gàidheal an ceann, agus cha bhiodh iad am fang mar a bha iad’ (p. 209). The article in Issue XI is entitled Cor na Gaedhealtachd, agus ciod a bu chòir do na Gaedheil bhochd a’ dheanamh (pp. 684-91).

This text also contains articles on a wide variety of other subjects, such as national and international history, and proverbs. These include: Call Bronach na Luinge Moire Da ’m b’ Ainm “Righ ’Chuain” (Ocean Monarch) (pp. 271-72), Gearr Chunntas, mu Thraillealachd, no Daorsa ann an Caochladh Linnean agus Chearnan D’en t-Saoghal (pp. 535-46 and 567-76), Amanna Fuilteach O Shean ann an Gaedhealtachd na h-Alba (pp. 463-65), Eachdraidh Ghoirid mu Choganna na Frainge (pp. 491-94), An Coral (pp. 553-57), and a series on Gnath-Fhocail (pp. 497-500, 559-61, 594-96, etc.).

There are a large number of articles on education, including Mu Theagasg agus Oilein Cloinne (pp. 97-102), Mu Sgoil a Thoirt do Chloinn (pp. 259-62), and a series entitled Focal Comhairle do Pharantan mu Sgoil a Thoirt do an Cloinn (e.g. pp. 427-30). There are also one or two articles and passages relating to the Cholera outbreak, including Cunntas Mu’n Cholera, agus Seolaidhean mu ’Sheachnadh ’s mu ’Leigheas (pp. 649-52).

The sections entitled Naidheachdean is also of value for its information on contemporary local, national, and international issues. For example, Issue IV contains an article on An Aimhreit Bhuaireasach a bh’ ann an Glascho bho Cheann Ghoirid (pp. 126-27). Issue XXII includes a short article which begins ‘Tha Staidean America ’an deigh casg a chur air an ionnsuidh shanntaich, éucoraich, fhuiltich a bha bannal de’n t-sluagh ullamh gu thoirt air seilbh a ghabhail ann an eilein Chuba leis an làimh làidir’ (p. 692). These items are especially useful for giving us Gaelic renditions of place-names from around the world. These include cogadh Mhecsico (p. 692) and na h-Austrianaich agus na Hungarianaich (p. 565).

The paragraph on markets (Margaidhean), which appears in the news section of most issues, is also interesting. In Issue V, for example, it reads ‘Tha ’mhin gu maith seasmhach,—faodar a ràdh nach ’eil i sios no suas bho’n mhios a dh-fhalbh; ach tha daoine bochda fo eagal, ma bhuanaicheas an aimsir co fuar, cranntaidh ’s a tha i, gu’n éirich prìs gach seòrsa lòin. Tha ’m Buntàta bho chuig, gu seachd puinnd Shassannach an tunna. Tha muilt-fheòil, as mairt-fheòil, bho sheachd gu naoi sgillinnean am punnd’ (p. 160).

Most issues contain one of Rev. Dr Norman MacLeod’s Còmhraidhean, which often focus on contemporary issues. Poems and songs appear in a number of issues. Issue X contains Oran Iasgair (pp. 305-06) and Failte do “Fhear-Tathaich nam Beann” (pp. 306-07), and Issue XVII contains Am Bas (pp. 525-26) and Moladh Dhe (pp. 526-27).
OrthographyThe orthography is characteristic of the mid-nineteenth century.
EditionFirst edition.
Other Sources
Further ReadingKidd, S.M., ‘Early Gaelic periodicals: knowledge transfer and impact’, in C. Ó Baoill and N. McGuire (eds), Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig, 6 (2013), 177-206.
Kidd, S.M., ‘Gaelic periodicals in the Lowlands: negotiating change’, in C. MacLachlan (ed.), Gael and Lowlander in Scottish Literature: Cross-currents in Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century (Glasgow, 2015: Scottish Literature International), 143-58.
Link LabelDigital version created by National Library of Scotland
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