Clann Tartan - (Baethan MacGuinness)

 

Clann Tartan Character Sketches

  Baethan MacGuinness
Ma nem is Baethan MacGuinness o Clan Aoenghus - Clan Innes tae the Inglish. Our clan gaed doun frae tha Angus quhose faither Fergus Mor mac Erca first brocht the Scottis oer frae Erin a hunner yeiris afore Sanct Columba cam; we ar ane awfie auld clan. A cam in tae this warld on sanct Blanes day thrie yeiris afore the union o the crouns.

Quhan A wis bit a wee loun, guid keing James seed fit ti gie a praisant tae the Cambells. He gied thaim the lest o our landis. Not that we did onie thing wrang, mynde yes, bit he hid ti gie tham Campbellis sum thin. Our clan castle at Morvern, in Argyle, turnit tae a Campbel hous. Tha wis a dowflik day, fur certant, bit at leist we wirna proscribit an a tha. The Campell teuk sum o us in tae his clan, bit monie o us teuk ship tae Ulster or even traivelt a the lang rod tae Eidinburra. Ane faimlie een bade fur a tyme on a crannog in loch Sunart.

Ma faither Andro wis frae ae muckle faimlie, an thrie o his sisteris wur nunnis o sanct Dominic. Nae lang efter Haly Mither Kirk wis banisht, an Queene Mairi wis makkit ti gie up hir richtfu croun, thae nunnis flichtit ower the see - twa tae Fraunce, an ane tae Erin thence Spayne. A his britheris wur troopairs bit Frannie, a see mon, quho drounit quhil helpin Ulster preestis ti flee tae Fraunce an Spayne durin queene Elizas wauris. Andro wis lame, an couldna be a troopair, sae he wis a delver. A lead delver. He wis wod, an wikkit, an deed quhan A wis amest a mon.

Ma mither, Una, cum frae a faimlie o crofters, bit her faither wis a teemster. The guid wumman fuish me aff tae prentice wie ma uncle Gordon, a horner, in Dumbarton toun. Bein kin, he dinna ask fur the hale chairge o it. Gordon wis a guid mon. He seed tae hit tha A wis lernt in the catechism as weil. A raiceivet my first communion frae the haun o blessit Willem MacGallen in ma twalt yeir. Willam wis martyrit fur the faith twa yeiris efter, in Coleraine.

A hae ae confess ti mak. Willam wis a mon baith strict an stern; he wis ae Dominican an aa. A hae aye likit better the Francicans then the Lairdis Doggis. In tha tyme, thou, we hid ti mak dae. We be aa verra thankfu tae the Laird tha keing Charley hae the less luve fur the broun sarkis then us trew beleivers. Hit maks us the mair sauf then we yaince wur.

Ma prectice wis tae hae bin echt yeiris, bit in the fift yeir, A raiceivet ill newis; ma lest leivin brither, Hamish, deed ettlin ti sauf the baistis whan the hous burnit doun. A hid ti gae hame ti gie a haun ti ma mither lest scho be pitt wi a bowl ti beg or sum thin.

A helpit out wi the hous - tatchit it ma sel - an warkit wha horn craft A lernit frae Maister Gordon. Afore langtyme, we wur able ti coff sum mair baistis. We hid milch ti drink, an eggies ti pey our scotis wi. An we saufit the quernstane efter the fyre, bit dunna tell nae bodie. The Cambellis court yaird is kivverit wi thaim.

Scho still haena marryit, bit thir be ae mon wha be deir ti hir, bit he canna see, an A maun sey ti hir tha we hae eneuch jist ti kep oursels wi eneuch ti aet. It micht hae bin unalik hid he bin yborn blynd - he could hae bin ae harper. Bit he wis as weil auld whan his een went mirklik ti lern.

By an by, A heirit tha ae carl cryit Gaffney wis cruitin ae regiment fur the waur in Almanie. I thocht it ae guid chaunce ti git a whein o siller. A howp than ti git ae freik fur ti gie us a haun wi the fairm, sae A kin wark the mair wi the hornis.

Screived bi Ullick Mac Diarmid, gentilmon, frae the wirdis o Baethan
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