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Wednesday 23 July 2014

The Strange Fate and Death of the Brahan Seer

There can be little doubt that one of the most famous seers from Highland tradition is the Brahan Seer or Coinneach Odhar Fiosaiche (‘Sallow Kenneth, the one who knows’). Alexander Mackenzie, editor of The Celtic Magazine, began to serialise an account of the Brahan Seer and, such was its success, decided to then publish a slim volume entitled The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer in 1877. A second edition appeared in the following year, and it was later revised for an 1899 edition; subsequent editions appeared in 1903, 1907, 1912 and 1925. A second impression appeared in 1972 to be followed by a centenary edition supplemented by a commentary by Elizabeth Sutherland, which has been reprinted nearly every year since. Such a publishing success can only be accounted by the reading public’s sheer interest engendered by the prophecies of the Brahan Seer.
Before Mackenzie (as well as others) gathered in the Brahan Seer’s prophecies and concomitant traditions about him, they had been floating in the flotsam and jetsam of oral tradition. On occasion items were printed in the local press especially when an inquiry was sent to the letter’s page or when an article was written about the Brahan Seer. Despite or perhaps because of such traditions there is no general consensus with regard to the Brahan Seer, at least in Gaelic tradition. There is still some uncertainty concerning his career and at which time he actually lived. This is due to the fact what is known of Coinneach Odhar is based upon oral accounts recorded in the main during the nineteenth century so that in consequence there is very little by the way of historical records to substantiate traditional claims.
For instance, both the Isle of Lewis and Ross-shire claim him as one of their sons. There is a strong belief that he was born sometime in the seventeenth century, perhaps even earlier, in Baile na Cille, in the Parish of Uig on the Isle of Lewis. Others suggest that he was born and raised in Easter Ross. Regardless of his birthplace, or when he actually lived, what is certain about him is that he had a close connection with Clan Mackenzie. So much so, that some firmly believe he was a Mackenzie. Surnames, however, were hardly the vogue at this time in the Highlands but it may well be likely that the Brahan Seer adopted such a surname. And it is more or less true that Coinneach Odhar’s attributed prophesies are conterminous with Clan Mackenzie’s influence when they were at the peak of their power which took in the Isle of Lewis and most of mainland Ross-shire. So why then is such a historically shadowy character so famous? The answer lies in his ability to tell future events long before they actually happened, or, in other words, he possessed the ‘gift’ of second-sight. Although this phenomenon has been recorded worldwide, it seems that it has been given (perhaps unnecessarily) a Celtic dimension. The phrase comes from Gaelic an dà shealladh which is usually translated “second-sight”, but a more literal translation gives “two visions” which perhaps explains the phrase better, in that there is a first vision, i.e. the ability to see normally, whereas the seer has the capacity to visualise, as a second (paranormal) vision, future events. In other words, his second vision is not determined by the normal constraints of either time or distance. Coinneach Odhar had this ability to a marked degree and soon stories of his talent spread throughout the Highlands and Islands and entered the lore of every district. According to tradition, Coinneach Odhar received this gift at a young age. And, again, there are different stories, depending on the source, of how he gained this extraordinary ability. The Lewis version states that his mother was told where to find a stone, the possessor of which would receive the gift of second-sight, from a Princess of Norway’s ghost who admired her bravery so much while Coinneach’s mother had been interrogating her. A Ross-shire tradition suggests that he found the stone while asleep and used it to find out whether a woman was trying to poison him. What most of the accounts agree upon is that he possessed a small stone which some described as being round with a hole in it, small, either blue or pearly white and perhaps polished. Whether the stone gave him the actually ability to foresee events, or, merely aided him in the endeavour is open to debate. 
What is beyond question are the many prophecies attributed to Coinneach Odhar. Alexander Mackenzie in his book The Brahan Seer divided his prophecies into four rough categories: prophecies which might be attributed to natural shrewdness; prophecies unfulfilled; prophecies as to the fulfillment of which there is doubt and prophecies wholly or partly fulfilled. An example of each will suffice in order to give a flavour of the range of Coinneach Odhar’s prophecies. Firstly, Strange as it may seem to this day, the time will come, and it is not far off, when full-rigged ships will be seen sailing eastward and west by the back of Tomhahurich Hill. This predicted the Caledonian Canal engineered by Thomas Telford and completed in 1822. Secondly, When there are seven bridges over the Ness, Inverness will be consumed with fire from the black rain and tumble into the sea. Obviously (and thankfully) this remains unfulfilled. Thirdly, The day will come when the Chanonry of Ross, when full of dead Mackenzies, will fall with a fearful crash. Although many Mackenzies are buried here, including the last Seaforth, more of whom anon, some believe that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. And finally, Coinneach Odhar’s talent was also his undoing which led to one of his most famous prophecies. Tradition relates that Isabella Mackenzie, the wife of Seaforth, kept on pestering Coinneach for information about her husband who had been in Paris on some business for much longer than expected. Coinneach replied that he was safe and well but in such a way as to rouse the suspicion of the Countess.  She demanded the truth and Coinneach reluctantly obliged by telling her that her husband was having an affair. Rather than gratitude, as Coinneach expected, he felt the full measure of her anger and was put under the penalty of death. This was when Coinneach allegedly uttered one of his last prophecies which sealed his fate: I see into the far future. I read the doom of my oppressor. The long descended line of Seaforth will, ere many generations have passed, end in extinction and sorrow. I see a chief, the last of his house, both deaf and dumb. He will be father to four fair sons, all of whom will go before him to the tomb. He will live careworn and die mourning, knowing that the honours of his line are to be extinguished and that no future chief of Mackenzies will rule at Brahan or Kintail. And so what Coinneach predicted came to pass.
Many of the traditional prophecies attributed to Coinneach Odhar have been travelling in oral transmission and thus were only written down after many were actually (or were allegedly) fulfilled. This is not to demean the oral record but merely to point out that so many prophecies have been attributed to him that it can never know with certainty if he actually predicted any of them. Whoever Coinneach Odhar was and whenever he is said to have lived, his legacy still remains, reflected in the interest shown by many in his prophetic visions of the Highlands.
The following traditional legend was recorded on the 11th of January and transcribed shortly thereafter by Calum Maclean from the recitation of John MacDonald of Highbridge, Brae Lochaber:

Coinneach Odhar

’S e Leòdhasach a bh’ ann an Coinneach Odhar. Agus nuair a bha e na bhalach òg agus mun d’fhuair e idir a’ follaiseachadh agus am fiosrachadh a bh’ aige mu dheireadh, bha taidhbhseilearachd aige bho thùs. Bha an t-ath-shealladh aige. Air oidhche dhà a’ dol seachad air cladh, chunnaic e na mairibh a’ tighinn a-staigh. Agus dh’fhuirich e na sheasamh a’ gabhail beachd orra. Agus bha aon tè ann a bha air deireadh air càch. Agus chaidh e a-nunn chun na h-uaigh. Agus chuir e cruaidh, chuir e a’ bhiodag an oiseann na h-uaigh. Agus cha tèid aon nìtheann neo-ghlan seachad air a’ chruaidh gun cead an neach a chuir ann e. Bha fhios aig Coinneach air seo. Cha robh e fada an siud nuair a thàinig maighdeann cho tlachdmhor is a chunnaic a riamh le cuailean bòidheach òr-bhuidhe ma guaillean.
“Seadh," thuirt e, “dè chum thusa cho fada air deireadh air càch?”
“Leig a-staigh gu mo leabaidh mi,” thuirt i.
“Cha leig gus an innis thu dhomh-sa t’ uireas.”
“’S e Nighean Rìgh Lochlainn a th' annam-sa agus bha sinn a’ tighinn mun cuairt le bàta agus chaidh nar call air a’ chladach a bha seo, agus thàinig mo chorp air tìr teann air a’ chladh. Agus chaidh mo chur ann an seo. Agus ’s ann mar sin a bha mise air deireadh. Chaidh mi cho fada ri Lochlainn a choimhead air mo chàirdean agus chum sin air deireadh mi agus leig a-staigh mi.”
“A bheil an còrr agad a dh’innseas tu dhomh-sa?” thuirt Coinneach.
“Bheir mi dhut buaidh,” thuirt i, “agus leig a-staigh mi. Agus ’s e sin: bidh thu a’ leanachd treud de chrodh agus lean a mhart odhar gu math dlùth. Agus togaidh an ladhar aice clach bhàn. Agus toga’ tusa a chlach. Agus coimheada’ tu air a’ chlach. Agus rud sam bith a chì thu ron chlach sin thig e teachd. Chì thu na dh’fhalbh agus chì thu na tha ri tighinn.”
’S ann mar seo a bha.
Bha e a’ cur an treud air adhart agus fhuair e a’ chlach. Agus choimhead e ron chlach agus nuair a choimhead, an neart a bha sa chlach, chuir i an t-sùil às. Agus chaidh neart na sùla sin ’un an t-sùil eile. Agus ’s ann mar sin a bha e comasach air coimhead ron a’ chlach. Agus bha e a’ leughadh a h-uile nìtheann is ga innseadh. Ach, co-dhiù, bha bean Iarla Chatach, NicCoinnich, bha i a’ gabhail cèill nach robh an duine aice a’ tighinn às an Fhraing. Is chuir i fios air Coinneach bhon a dh’innseadh e gach nì.
“O,” thuirt e, “nam biodh curam sam bith ort,” ars’ an duine, thuirt e. “Tha an duine na shuidhe san an Fhraing agus an nighean is breàgha san Fhraing aige air a’ ghlùin agus ’s beag smaoineachdainn a tha e a’ dèanadh ort-sa.”
“O, ’s e buidseachd a th’ aige,” thuirt i, “agus thèid a mharbhadh.”
Agus chuir i mu dheidhinn gun rachadh a losgadh ann am bairille teàrr. Mun d’fhuair iad seo a dhèanadh, ghabh e beagan de dh’ùine, bha an duine aice a’ tighinn dachaigh. Is chuala e gun robh Coinneach Odhar a’ dol a bhith air an losgadh le òrdugh na baintighearna. Agus fhuair e each agus chuir e an t-each sin cho fad is a ghabhadh e cur. Agus dar a bha an t-each sin sgìth, fhuair e each eile. Is bha e a’ dlùthadh leis an treas each air an àite san deach Coinneach a losgadh. Agus chunnaic e iad a’ dèanamh iollachd agus an smùid ga chur ris an teine. Agus chuir e an t-each cho luath agus gun do thuit an t-each marbh. Agus bha aige ri dhol ceathramh a mhile a dh’astar mun do ràinig e. An uair sin bha Coinneach Odhar air a thilgeil anns a’ bhairille teàrra agus e marbh. Agus dh’aidich e a h-uile nìthean agus a chiont don bhaintighearna. Agus ’s ann a bha mulad an uair sin ann gun deach a chur gu bàs agus e neo-chiontach. Is thuirt e riutha gun robh e neo-chiontach, gun tigeadh calman às an àird an ear agus fitheach às an àird an iar. Agus nan laigheadh am fitheach air an smàl aige air an talamh, bha e caìllte. Agus nan laigheadh an calman ’s e bh’ ann duine sàbhailte.
’S ann mar seo a thachair.
Thàinig an t-eun às an àird an ear agus an t-eun eile às an àird an iar. Agus laigh an calman air an duslach aige. Agus mar sin thuirt iad: “Tha Coinneach Odhar sàbhailte.”

And the translation goes something like the following:

Sallow Kenneth

Sallow Kenneth was a Lewisman. When he was a young lad and even before he got the power to reveil unknown things and knowledge, he had second-sight from the very beginning. He possessed second-sight. One night as he went by a cemetery, he saw the dead returning to their graves. He stayed there standing and observed them. There was one woman who was behind the rest. He went over to where her grave was. He placed a steel dagger in a corner of her grave. Nothing that is unclean can go by steel without the permission of the persion who placed it there. Kenneth knew this. He did not have to wait long when the most beautiful maiden he had ever seen arrived with her beautiful yellow-golden tresses falling to her shoulders.
“Aye,” he exclaimed, “what kept you back so long behind the rest?”
“Let me go to my bed,” she replied.
“I will not until you tell me your want.”
“I am the daughter of the King of Lochlann and we were travelling by boat when we were lost on this very shore, and my corpse landed here near to the cemetery. And I was interred here. That is the reason why I was late for I had to go as far as Lochlann to visit my friends and that is why I was behind so now let me in.”
“Do you have anything else you can tell me?” asked Kenneth.
“I will give you a gift,” she said, “if you only let me [go to my bed]. And that is: if you follow that herd of cattle and if you keep close to the dun-coloured cow when it lifts up its hoof there will be a white stone. And you’ll take the stone and look through it. And anything you see through the stone will come to pass. You will see that which has gone and that will is yet to pass.
That is how things turned out.
He moved on the herd of cattle and he found the stone. He looked through the stone and when he did the stone had such power that it took out his eye. And the power of that eye was placed in his other one. And that is the way in which he was able to look through the stone. He read everything that was going on and told what he saw. But, in any case, the wife of the Earl of Sutherland, a MacKenzie, was worried that her husband had not arrived back from France. She sent for Kenneth as he knew about about everything.
“Oh,” he said, “don’t let anything worry you,” said the man, he said, “The man is sitting overby in France and te most beautiful lassie in the whole of France is sitting on his knee and he has hardly got you on his mind.”
“Oh, he is possessed by witchcraft,” she exclaimed, “and he will be executed.”
And she decided that he would be burnt in a barrel of tar. Before they carried this out as it took some time to prepare, her husband was arriving home. He heard that Sallow Kenneth was going to be burnt by his lady’s order. He got a horse and he took the horse as far as it could go. When the horse became tired, he got another mount. He was getting nearer to the place where Kenneth was going to be burnt on his third mount. He saw that they were stoking the fire and smoke was pouring from it. He made his mount go so quickly that the horse fell dead. He had to go another quarter of a mile before he reached the place. By then Sallow Kenneth had been thrown into the barrel of tar and had died. He admitted everything about his guilt to his lady. And he was deeply sad that he had been executed even though he was innocent. He said that if he had been innocent that a dove would come from the west and a crow from the west. If the crow lay down on his ashes on the ground, then he would be lost. But if the dove lay down then he was saved.
This is how things turned out.
A bird came from the east and and a bird from the west. And the dove lay down on his dust. And they said: “Sallow Kenneth is saved.”

Another anecdote was recorded by Calum Maclean from the recitation of John MacDonald on the 18th of January 1951, where he recites a verse composed by the Skye pastoral bard, Neil MacLeod:

Am Bàs a Fhuair Coinneach Odhar

’S e Niall MacLeòid às an Eilean Sgitheanach, am Bàrd, tha iad ag ràdha rium a rinn an rann. Agus chuir Coinneach Dubh fios gu chairdean feadh a h-uile h-àite dè thachair do Choinneach Odhar na dè am bàs a thàinig air. Agus tha an rann a’ dol mar seo:

Chuir Coinneach Dubh fios gu ’chàirdean
Eadar gleann is bràigh is bogha,
An toireadh a h-aon duibh fios gun dàil dhà,
Cùine a bhàsaich Coinneach Odhar;
An deach a chrochadh na a cheasadh,
Na an dh’eug e ag éigheach cobhair,
An deach a losgadh na a bhàthadh,
Na fhàgail a mach air todhar.
B’ aithne dhomh-sa bodach ròmach
A bha eòlach air seann ghobhainn.
Chunnaic e e feasgar man d’fhalbh e,
Gun e balbh, dall na bodhar:
Greim aige air clach ghlas na fàsaich,
Is e ’ga fàsgadh cho teann ri lomar.
’N uair a thug e aiste na bh’ innte,
Thilg e i thar tuinn Loch Lobhar.
Bhòidich e a sin ’na éisdeachd,
Air na speuran is air an domhain,
Nach fhaicte sealladh gu bràth dhith
Gus an tràighte Loch Lobhar.
’S ann feasgar anmoch Dia Ceadaoin
’N uair a bha a’ ghrian a’ dol fodha,
’S a’ bhliadhna seachd ceud deug
A rug an t-aog air Coinneach Odhar.
Tha e ’na laighe ’na chadal fo’n tràigh sin,
Faisg air bràigh Allt an t-Sabhail.
Ann an clachan bearnach frògach,
Nach mutha na crò nan gobhar.
Ma théid Coinneach Dubh gu bràth
A dh’ ionnsaigh àirdeannan Strath Feothair,
Seallaidh iad gu saor dha an t-àite.
Far an do smàl iad Coinneach Odhar.

And the translation goes something like the following:

The Death Suffered by the Brahan Seer

Neil MacLeod, the bard, from the Isle of Skye, they told me composed a verse. And word was sent to Sallow Kenneth’s friend in every nook and cranny about what happened to him or about the death suffered by him. And the verse goes like this:

Black Kenneth sent word to his friends
Between glen and brae and reef,
Would anyone of them give word without delay
When did Sallow Kenneth die;
Was he hanged or was he crucified
Did he die shouting for clemency,
Was he burnt or was he drowned
Or was he left out in the manure.
I knew a bearded old man
Who knew the old smith.
He saw one evening before he set off,
He was not dumb, blind or deaf:
Grasped in his hand the grey stone of plunder
Holding it as tightly as a fleece.
After he had taken that which was given
He threw it over the wave of Loch Lobhar.
He vowed then in his hearing
On the skies and on the world,
That he’d never see it again
Until Loch Lobhar was drained.
In late Wednesday evening,
As the sun sent down,
And the year being 1700
When Sallow Kenneth suffered death.
He lies asleep underneath that strand,
Near the brae of Allt an t-Sabhail
In a cemetery notched and marked,
No bigger than a pen for goats.
If Black Kenneth ever goes
Towards the heights of Strathpeffer
They will show him freely the place
Where they burnt Sallow Kenneth.

For the sake of comparison, this is how the first editor of the Brahan Seer’s prophecies put the following traditions:

Kenneth Mackenzie, better known as Coinneach Odhar, the Brahan Seer…was born at Baile-na-Cille, in the Parish of Uig and Island of Lews, about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Nothing particular is recorded of his early life, but when he had just entered his teens, he received a stone in the following manner, by which he could reveal the future destiny of man:―While his mother was tending her cattle in a summer shealing on the side of a ridge called Cnocethail, which overlooks the burying-ground of Baile-na-Cille, in Uig, she saw, about the still hour of midnight, the whole of the graves in the churchyard opening, and a vast multitude of people of every age, from the newly-born babe to the grey-haired sage, rising from their graves, and going away in every conceivable direction. In about an hour they began to return, and were all soon after back in their graves, which closed upon them as before. But, on scanning the burying-place more closely, Kenneth’s mother observed one grave, near the side, still open. Being a courageous woman, she determined to ascertain the cause of this singular circumstance, so, hastening to the grave, and placing her cuigeal (distaff) athwart its mouth (for she had heard it said that the spirit could not enter the grave again while that instrument was upon it), she watched the result. She had not to wait long, for in a minute or two she noticed a fair lady coming in the direction of the churchyard, rushing through the air, from the north. On hear arrival, the fair one addressed her thus  ‘Lift thy distaff from off my graver, and let me enter my dwelling of the dead.’ ‘I shall do so,’ answered the other, ‘when you explain to me what detained you so long after your neighbours.’ ‘That you shall soon hear,’ the ghost replied; ‘My journey was much longer than theirs ― I had to go all the way to Norway.’ She then addressed her: ― ‘I am a daughter of the King of Norway; I was drowned while bathing in that country; my body was found on the beach close to where you now stand, and I was interred in this grave. In remembrance of me, and as a small reward for your intrepidity and courage, I shall possess you of a valuable secret ― go and find in yonder take a small round blue stone, which give to your son, Kenneth, who by it shall reveal future events. ‘She did as requested, found the stone, and gave it to her son, Kenneth.

And concerning the death of the Brahan Seer, Alexander Mackenzie gave the following account:

Lady Seaforth had become very uneasy concerning his prolonged absence, more especially as she received no letters from him for several months. Her anxiety became too strong for her power of endurance, and led her to have recourse to the services of the local prophet. She accordingly sent messages to Strathpeffer, summoning Coinneach to her presence, to obtain from him, if possible, some tidings of her absent lord. Coinneach, as we have seen, was already celebrated, far and wide, throughout the whole Highlands, for his great powers of divination, and his relations with the invisible world.
Obeying the orders of Lady Seaforth, Kenneth arrived at the Castle, and presented himself to the Countess, who required him to give her information concerning her absent lord. Coinneach asked where Seaforth was supposed to be, and said that he thought he would be able to find him if he was still alive. He applied the divination stone to his eyes, and laughed loudly, saying to the Countess, ‘Fear not for your lord, he is safe and sound, well and hearty, merry and happy.’ Being now satisfied that her husband’s life was safe, she wished Kenneth to describe his appearance; to tell where he was no engaged, and all his surroundings. ‘Be satisfied,’ he said, ‘ask no questions, let it suffice you to know that your lord is well and merry.’ ‘But,’ demanded the lady,’ ‘where is he? and is he making any preparations for coming home?’ ‘Your lord,’ replied the Seer, ‘is in a magnificent room, in very fine company, and far too agreeably employed at present to think of leaving Paris.’ The Countess, finding that her lord was well and happy, began to fret that she had no share in his happiness and amusements, and to feel even the pangs of jealousy and wounded pride. She thought there was something in the Seer’s looks and expression which seemed to justify such feelings. He spoke sneeringly and maliciously of her husband’s occupations, as much as to say, that he could tell a disagreeable tale if he would. The lady tried entreaties, bribes and threat to induce Coinneach to give a true account of her husband, as he had seen him, to tell who was with him, and all about him. Kenneth pulled himself together, and proceeded to say ― ‘As you will know that which will make you unhappy, I must tell you the truth. My lord seems to have little thought for you, or of his children, or of his Highland home. I saw him in a gay-gilded room, grandly decked out in velvets, with silks and cloth of gold, and on his knees before a fair lady, his arm round her waist, and her hand pressed to his lips.’ At this unexpected and painful disclosure, the rage of the lady knew no bounds. It was natural and well merited, but its object was a mistake. All the anger which ought to have been directed against her husband, and which should have been concentrated in her breast, to be poured out upon him after his return, was spent upon poor Coinneach Odhar. She felt the more keenly, that the disclosures of her husband’s infidelity had not been made to herself in private, but in the presence of the principal retainers of her house, so that the Earl’s moral character was blasted, and her own charms slighted, before the whole clan; and her husband’s desertion of her for a French lady was certain to become the public scandal of all the North of Scotland. She formed a sudden resolution with equal presence of mind and cruelty. She determined to discredit the revelations of the Seer, and to denounce him as a vile slanderer of her husband’s character. She trusted that the signal vengeance she was about to inflict upon him as a liar and defamer would impress the minds, not only of her own clan, but of all the inhabitants of the counties of Ross and Inverness, with a scene of her thorough disbelief in the scandalous story, to which she nevertheless secretly attached full credit. Turning to the Seer, she said, ‘You have spoken evil of dignities, you have defamed a mighty chief in the midst of his vassals, you have abused my hospitality and outraged my feelings, you have sullied the good name of my lord in the halls of his ancestors, and you shall suffer the most signal vengeance I can inflict ― you shall suffer the death.’
Coinneach was filled with astonishment and dismay at this fatal result of his art. He had expected far other rewards from his art of divination. However, he could not at first believe the rage of the Countess to be serious; at all events, he expected that it would  soon evaporate, and that, in the course of a few hours, he would be allowed to depart in peace. He even so far understood her feelings that he thought she was making a parade of anger in order to discredit the report of her lord’s name before the clan; and he expected that when this object was served, he might at length be dismissed without personal injury. But the decision of the Countess was no less violently conceived than it was promptly executed. The doom of Coinneach was sealed. No time was to be allowed for remorseful compunction. No preparation was permitted to the wretched man. No opportunity was given for intercession in his favour. The miserable Seer was led out for immediate execution.

With regard to the signal of whether Coinneach Odhar was saved or not, the following tradition (also attributed to the thirteenth-century philosopher Michael Scot) is given:

When Coinneach Odhar was being led to the stake, fast bound with cords, Lady Seaforth exultingly declared that, having had so much unhallowed intercourse with the unseen world, he would never go to Heaven. But the Seer, looking round upon her with an eye form which his impending fate had not banished the ray of joyful hope of rest in a future state, gravely answered ― ‘I will go to Heaven, but you never shall; and this will a sign whereby you can determine whether my condition after death is one of everlasting happiness or of eternal misery; a raven and a dove, swiftly flying in opposite directions will meet, and for a second hover over my ashes, on which they will instantly alight. If the raven if foremost, you have spoken truly; but if the dove, then my hope if well-founded.’

A Commemorative cairn, cast by the boys of Fortrose Academy, was unveiled in 1969 at Chanonry Point, Fortrose, Black Isle, where the inscription reads as follows:


Dòmhnall Iain MacÌomhair, Coinneach Odhar (Glaschu: Gairm, 1990)
Alexander Mackenzie, The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer, Coinneach Odhar Fiosaiche (London: Constable, 1977)
William Matheson, ‘The Historical Coinneach Odhar and Some Prophecies Attributed to Him,’ Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, vol. XXXXVI (1969–70), pp. 68–88
Alex Sutherland, The Brahan Seer: The Making of a Legend (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009)
SSS NB 4, pp. 353–54
SSS NB 5, pp. 415–18

Chanonry Point, Black Isle 
Commemorative cairn cast by the boys of Fortrose Academy, in 1969, at Chanonry Point, Fortrose, Black Isle, allegedly the site of the Brahan Seer’s execution

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