Metadata for texts common to Corpas na Gàidhlig and Faclair na Gàidhlig have been provided by the Faclair na Gàidhlig project. We are very happy to acknowledge here Dr Catriona Mackie’s sterling work in producing this data; the University of Edinburgh for giving us permission to use and publish the data; and the Leverhulme Trust whose financial support enabled the production of the metadata in the first place. The metadata is provided here in draft form as a useful resource for users of Corpas na Gàidhlig. The data is currently being edited and will be updated in due course.

Metadata © University of Edinburgh

Metadata for text 196
No. words in text77054
Title Hints for the Use of Highland Tenants and Cottagers. By a proprietor / Beachd-Chomhairlean airson feum do Thuathanaich ’us Choitearan Gaidh’lach. Le uachdaran Fearuinn
Author Mackenzie, Sir Francis
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1838
Date Of Language 1800-1849
Publisher Robert Carruthers
Place Published Inverness
Volume N/A
Location National, academic, and local libraries (Highland, reference)
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Inverness
Register Education, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 22cm x 14cm
Short Title Hints for the Use of Highland Tenants
Reference Details NLS: M.43/2.d.alpha
Number Of Pages 273 pages
Gaelic Text By Roderick Macdonald
Illustrator Unknown
Social Context The authorship of this work has been attributed to Sir Francis Alexander Mackenzie, the 5th Baronet and 12th Laird of Gairloch. He was the eldest son of Sir Hector MacKenzie, 4th Baronet and 11th Laird. He had three brothers, William, Hector, and Dr. John MacKenzie of Eileanach who published Croft Cultivation in 1885 (see Text 89).

In 1829 Francis Alexander MacKenzie married Caroline Kythe of Nottinghamshire. They had two sons, Kenneth Smith (who became 6th Baronet and 13th Laird of Gairloch) and Francis Harford. His wife died in 1834, at the age of 23, along with her infant son. In 1836 he married Mary Hanbury, daughter of Osgood Hanbury of Holfield Grange in Essex. Their son, Osgood Hanbury MacKenzie (born in Brittany in 1842), cultivated Inverewe Gardens, and published a volume of reminiscences in 1921, the year before his death. Francis Alexander MacKenzie died in 1843, shortly after the family’s return from Brittany.

This text comprises the English version of Hints for the Use of Highland Tenants and Cottagers, and a translation of the same into Gaelic. English and Gaelic are presented on facing pages. A handwritten note on the title-page of the edition that can be viewed on the Am Baile website states that ‘The Gaelic was written by Roderick Macdonald Schoolmaster at Inverness’. The book is aimed at crofters, as the author notes in his introduction: ‘This Treatise, though applicable to many parts of Scotland, is chiefly intended for the benefit of you, my Cottar Tenants, since, although I so frequently have the satisfaction of meeting you personally, the little time afforded for conversing upon a variety of matters connected with your welfare, induces me now thus to address you and offer my assistance in alleviating that want of plenty and comfort which amongst you all is but too apparent’ (p. 4).
Contents This volume begins with an introduction (pp. 4-10), followed by a list of contents (p. 10). The text is presented in nine chapters as follows:
I. Food/Lon (pp. 12-27).
II. Diseases and Medicines / Tinneas agus Iocshlaintean (pp. 26-45).
III. Clothing / Aodach (pp. 44-51).
IV. Houses, Furniture, &c. / Tighean, Airneis, &c. (pp. 50-67).
V. Boats, Fishing Implements, &c. / Bataichean, Innealan Iasgaich, &c. (pp. 66-69).
VI. Agriculture Implements, &c. / Acfhuinnean Tuathanais, &c. (pp. 70-145).
VII. Cattle, Horses, Pigs, &c. Diseases / Crodh, Eich, Mucan, ’s an Euslaintean (pp. 146-205).
There is no chapter heading on p. 146.
VIII. Gardens, Seeds, Fruits, Vegetables / Lis, Sil, Measan, ’us Luibhean (pp. 204-39). This includes a section on beekeeping (pp. 224-37).
IX. Education, Morals, &c. / Foghlum, Modhalachdan, &c. (pp. 238-73).
There is no chapter heading on p. 238.

The text contains a few illustrations; most of them consist of drawings of crofters’ cottages.
Language This text is a useful source of terminology relating to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, beekeeping, fishing, housing, clothing, food, and diseases (both human and animal). The text is written in an informal, accessible style, offering advice to the crofter on all of the above matters. For example, we find faodaidh mi ’luaidh gu’m bheil mhin choirc, air a gnathachadh mar bhrochan no lit ni’s beathachail’ agus ni’s caontaich’ na ’n uair a tha i air a fuineadh na bannaich; agus gu’n toir saluinn uinneanan, seibheas, no pairslie, agus beagan peabar dubh le ’ur buntata no cal air a phronnadh, cha’n’e ’mhain blas gle thaitneach, ach gu’m bac e gaoth cuime agus na h-easlaintean ud a tha ’geiridh bho chus cleachdaidh loin luibheach (p. 21).

With regard to fowl, the author notes: maille ris na h-uile eoin, tha iadsan aig am bi luirgnean geala gu bhi air an roghnachadh, ach tha na seorsan seilg le luirgnean uana no buidhe gu cumanta gu bhi air an seachainneadh airson iad a bhi maoth ri arach an fheadh a tha iadsan le luirgnean dubh gun a bhi cho measail air feill, airson am feoil a bhi dorcha, agus ciod air bith an dath ma bhios an luirgnean fada cha’n fhiach iad an cumail (p. 183). With regard to bee-keeping, he advises: Cothromaich do sgeap a roimhe, agus an deighe an sgaoith a chuir innte, agus cum cunntadh air a cuideam. Bithidh tu a reisd comasach gu breith a thoirt air an tomhas meala a bhios innte ’san fhoghair (p. 225).

The author also discusses the evils of smuggling and illicit distilling. For example, we find nach ’eil laghan ar duthch-ne air am briseadh leis gach smugailear, co dhiubh a tharruingeas e uisge-beath ann ’ur creagan ’s’ur mointichean, no ghiulanas e an t-opium mhi-laghail do China, an Iompair neamhaidh, mar a theirear rithe? Nach ’eil cursa an smugaileir na cursa mhealltaireachd, ’us dheanamh bhreug, agus mheirle, anns an t-seadh as treise de na focail seo (p. 257).

The author ends with a discussion of education, religion, and good morals. For example, we find Na’n robh an te mu dheireadh dhiubh air a chleachdadh aig sgoilean Sabaid, agus earrainn air a leughadh do na parantan, dh’fhaodadh gu’m biodh e cho feumail ri teagasg ’sam bith a dh’fhaodar a thoirt do ’ur clann; oir b’urra dhuibh aig an dachaidh riaghailtean ionmholta gidheadh fhurasda Mrs Childs a chleachdadh (p. 247).
Orthography The orthography is that of the early-to-mid-nineteenth century. There are no particular dialectal features of note.
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading MacKenzie, Alexander, History of the MacKenzies with Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name (Inverness, 1894: A. & W. Mackenzie).
MacKenzie, Osgood, A Hundred Years in the Highlands (London, 1921: [n. pub.]).
Powered by CQPWeb