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The sculptures on the sarcophagus occupy three panels, the centre panel being on one of the sides, with a smaller one at each end. On the left of the centre panel stands a post or pillar, surmounted by what the writer of

Scuts, Irish, and Islesmen, into such a confined position as the peninsula of Tarbet, where there would be nothing for them to subsist upon. Moreover Earl Thorfiinn had land levies besides his ships, and would hardly have selected such a site for a battlefield. Skene says that the fight took place "on the southern shore of the Beauly Firth." It is evident, therefore, that he, like Professor Munch, ha* been attracted by the similarity of s mnd betweet Beahord and Beaufort. The Saga is not very explicit as to the whereabouts of the combatants immediately before the battle. It states that Thorkel Fostri had collected men about Breidafiord (the Moray Firth) prior to it, and that he afterwards met the Earl in Mo-ay. The King was marching from the direction of Satiri (Kintyre). It is therefore just possible that the Earl having received his reinforcements from the Isles by sea, might have met the King near Beauly. But in this case, as the King advanced from the south-west or west, he must of necessity have cut off Earl Thorfinn from his own country, and as the Earl would have had no room in his ships for his land levies in case of defeat, and as history shews us that the Northmen very seldom fought without having secured a means of flight in case of disaster, I think the weight of evidence is against Mr Skene's idea (shared by Professor Munch)—viz., that Baefiord is the Beauly Firth. It is much more probable, therefore, that the Earl preferred to give battle with his back to his own dominions, into which he could easily retreat, especially as he knew the King's force was much the largest. The following quotation, however, I think, settles without a doubt the site of the battle. The Orkneyinga Saga was written about 1225, and therefore in this case relates events which were then nearly 200 years old, and apparently to make the matter clearer it quotes Amor Jarlaskald, Earl Thorfran's bard, who was present at the battle, and distinctly states that it was fought on the south side of the Ekkial or Oykel. Mr Anderson's conjecture may still be correct, and Dornoch Firth being the continuation of the estuary of Oykel would represent Baefiord. Amor sings :—

Reddened were the wolf's-bit's edges
At a place—men call it Torfness;
It was by a youthful ruler
This was done, upon a Monday.
Pliant swords were loudly ringing
At. this War-Thins south of Ekkiel,
When the Prince had joined the battle
Bravely with the King of Scotland.

The battle commenced and the Earl fought valiantly, a sword in one hand and a spear in the other. The King then ordered up his standard, and here the fight was hottest, till the King was slain and his army fled. The Earl pursued, leaving his ships behind him, for the Saga says he afterwards returned to them, in order to sail to Caithness. The Scots therefore fled with too great precipitation to bury their own dead. Neither the Saga nor Amor .Tarlaskald mention any great Scandinavian warrior as having fallen on the occasion, and it is therefore within the bounds of possibility that the victors, finding the body of the King, decently interred it at the church of Kincardine. The fact of its being interred by Northmen might easily give rise to the tradition of the burial being that of a Prince of Lochlin, for though it may be argued that the Scots would surely know of the fall of their King, it must be borne in mind that the district of the Oykel was a sort of no-man's land, which did not actually come under Scottish dominion until long afterwards. The slain would undoubtedly receive Christian burial, for though Karl Sigurd the Stout, Thorfinn's father, was only converted to Christianity by force, by Olaf Trvggvison (being offered the alternative of baptism or death), and actually died under his enchanted Pagan banner, the Raven, at Clontarf, his son seems to have boon bitter affected towards the new religion, and indeed built the first Norse church in the Islands, Christ's Kirk in Birsay, in which he was buried.

Torfness is a term of general application, meaning simply "turf or moss headland." I am of opinion, after a very careful examination of the chart of the estuary, that the site of the battle should \te sought south of Boimr Bridge, either near East Feam Point (at low water 16 feet deep and about 300 yards across), or else in tin- nciirhlmurhood of Scart Point (at low water 20 feet and about 400 yards across), and lx>th of

tho Statistical Account conjectures to be an Imperial crown.* To thia seem to be fastened two long snakey-necked animals of uncertain breed, and very difficult of recognition, whicb are represented sitting on tbeir haunches opposite each other, with their heads turned over their shoulders. To their right kneels a figure facing them, the arms being crossed over the breast, and above this there is a recumbent creature, apparently a sheep. On the extreme right are seen two persons riding an animal. The left panel contains a figure on horseback, bearing in his uplifted right hand a club-like instrument, and carrying in his left a spear. His horse appears to bo trampling something underfoot, and below the horse's neck a round object is seen, which might pass muster for a human head, but which is too much abraded to be readily discerned. In the right panel stand two figures, clad in conical caps, and long tunics reaching below the knee, and holding long spears in their outer hands, while between them they hold up by the feet a headless human body. That these fignres represent Scandinavian warriors can hardly bo reasonably doubted.t I must also say that I fail to detect any animal having the least resemblance to a camel. The whole sarcophagus, however, is much weather-worn.*

which would have afforded safe and sufficient anchorage to the Orkney fleet. The Earl could have had hi* ships in the Ovkel ready to ferry across his land forces in case of defeat, and these would have been well on their way to Wick and Thurso long before a pursuing force unprovided with ships could follow them by way of Invershin, while the Earl, his troops ferried over, would have at once stood out to sea.

Whether the Kincardine Sarcophagus once held the body of Kali Hundason, or even of any Norse sub-chief, is another matter.

* Tin's i.s possibly intended to represent an ancient market-cross. The Cross of Rosemarlde is a stone shaft, having for a capital a ducal crown.

t It will be observed that among the figures on the sarcophagus are:—1, Two figures riding on one animal; 2, Two figures in Scandinavian dress holding a headless body; 3, A figure riding, and having at his saddle-bow something like a human head. The scenes represented in these sculptures bear such a strong analogy to those attendant on the death of one of the Norse Earls of Orkney, that I cannot refrain from mentioning them here. When King Harald the Fair-haired of Norway had subdued the Vikings of the Orkneys, he gave the Islands in fief to Earl Rbgnvald of Moeri, the father of Hrolf or Rollo the Ganger, the conqueror of Normandy. Rbgnvald, in turn, handed them over to hw brother Sigurd, who became Earl, and pushed his conquests to the confines of Moray and Ross. He thus became involved in hostilities with Maormar Melbrigd Tonn or the Buck-toothed, and it was arranged that the two chiefs should meet with forty men each to settle their differences. Earl Sigurd arrived with forty horses but with eighty men, two men biing mounted on each hone, and Melbrigd seeing he had been treacherously dealt with, resolved at least to die bravely. They met in the neighbourhood of the Oykel, and the Saga of Olaf Trvggvison describes what followed :—" There was hard fighting immediately, and it was not long till Karl Melbrigd fell and all his men with him. Earl Sigurd and hit men fasttned the headt [of the dain] to their saddlt-ttraps in bravado, and so they rode home triumphing in their victory. As they were proceed.'ng, Earl Sigurd, intending to kick at his horse with his foot, struclc the calf of hi* leg against a tooth protruding from Earl Melbrigd?* head, which scratched him slightly; but it soon became swollen and painful, and he died of it." This account is so circumstantial, that one is almost tempted to find a parallel between it and the sculptured record. Earl Sigurd the Powerful died about A.D. 875, and it is distinctly stated in the Saga that he was "hoy.laid" or "buried in a mound at Ekkialsbakki." Tradition has kept alive the remembrance of his last resting-place, for "Siward's hoch," or "haug," as it was known in the twelfth century, has passed through the various forms of Sytheraw, Sythera and Siddera, until at last it has been corrupted into the modern Cyder Ha'l. tTnless therefore, we can prove that the Kincardine stone coffin was removed from a tumulus near this place, which is on the opposite side of the estuary of Oykel, I am afraid we must abandon the theory of its being connected with the Norse Earl Sigurd. Melbrigd or Maelbrigd was, according to Skene, Maormar of Mar,

The slab-stone at Rosomarkie has been broken across, but is otherwise in a good state of preservation. It is divided into three panels, with a border running along one side. The two end panels and the border are ornamented with a common Celtic raised zig-zag pattern; the centre panel is more elaborate. A border of uncarved stone has been left all round the slab, and as it is only carved on one side, there is every probability of its having formed the lid of a stone cotlin. I am not aware of its having any tradition attached to it, but in this and all other cases, should readers of the Celtic Magazine bo aware of any local history affecting particular standing stones, I shall take it as a great favour if they will kindly favour me with the particulars.

(To he Continued.)




12 Lombard Street, Inverness, 18th Aug. 1881.

Dear Sir,—In your full report of the proceedings of the last Annual Assembly of this Society—at which I had not the privilege of being present—you quote a suggestion made in a letter from me to the Secretary, that the Society should oifor a prize for the best essay on "the best means of attaining the objects we have in view."

The objects of the Society are very comprehensive, though embraced within the compass of a few lines in the second article of our " Constitution." They are as follows:—"The objects of the Society are the perfecting of the members in the use of the Gaelic language; the cultivation of the language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands; the rescuing from oblivion of Celtic poetry, traditions, legends, books, and manuscripts; the establishing in Inverness of a library to consist of books and manuscripts, in whatever language, hearing upon the genius, the literature, the history, the antiquities, and the. material interests of the Highlands and and Highland people; the vindication of the rights and character of the Gaelic people; and generally the furtherance of their interests whether at home or abroad."

* The camel twice appears upon Scottish stones: once in the Island of Canna, where the representation is excellently well ilone. showing the hump and the peculiar contour of the anini.'i]'s head: and again at SKi^I'. in IY'ithsliire, where it is shown as lying down. The camel was known to the I'iets, ami the Annals of Inuisfallen state that in 110f» one was given by the King of Alban to Mucertac O'Brien. It I. '•■ observed that while the eamel is well drawn, and represented in different, [».-iLioii>, the "elephant" on the other hand ne\er changes its conventioual form, except Vhlv upon a stone at Largo, where it bears a strong resemblance to the waliua.

There can he no doubt that the Celtic Chair, which it is hoped will ho occupied by a good Professor in November next, will he one of the most powerful means for this attainment. The, second and third paragraphs of the above article cannot escape its attention, and the fourth only requires the substitution of the word "Edinburgh" for "Inverness" to be embraced within its scope.

As this Society has had considerable influence in fanning the flame of Celtic patriotism, which for generations was only smouldering, though not extinct; but which has now, thanks to the indomitable perseverance of Professor Blackie, resulted in the endowment of this chair. I venture to suggest that the Society should follow up the victory thus secured over Saxon jealousy and prejudice, and, more important still, over Celtic conceit and apathy, by founding a respectable Gaelic Society Bursary in connection with the chair.

The Society not being at present in Session, I take the liberty of ventilating this important matter before the members and the Celtic public through the medium of your influential magazine; and at the same time bespeak the advocacy of one who has done so much towards "the cultivation of the language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands," and "the" {rescuing ?fromf oblivion of Celtic poetry, traditions, legends, books, and manuscripts,"jas itsJEditor.—Yours faithfully,


[The above letter reached us too late for our last issue.. "We heartily sympathise with Mr Campbell's proposal, and trust the Gaelic Society will take the matter seriously in hand.—Ed., CM.]



Gairloch Hotel, Ross-shire, N.B., Sept. 19th, 1881. Sir,—On visiting Gairloch to-day, my tootsteps were naturally directed to the grave of the " Celtic Burns," "William Ross, and to that of John Mackenzie, collector, compiler, and editor of "The Beauties of Gaelic Poetry," to whom you have raised such a suitable monument. To my intense disappointment I found the churchyard of this beautiful locality impenetrably overgrown with dank weeds and nettles. The whole churchyard, and with the rest, the graves of the bard and Mackenzie (as well as those of former Chiefs of the Mackenzie^) are absolutely shrouded in those hateful habiliments of luxurious Nature. Indeed, in my first attempt, a shower having fallen in the morning, I was quite unable to reach cither grave. To have done so would have cost mo a thorough soaking of my nether garments. Can nothing be done to mako this God's acre decent? I think the liberal-minded Sir Kenneth reqtiires only to have his attention directed to this foul spot on his otherwise beautiful property to have it purified, and afterwards kept in a state of decency. —Yours truly, Wm. ALLAN.

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