Conference: C18th Manuscript Culture in the Wider Gaelic World

Eighteenth-century Manuscript Culture in the Wider Gaelic World: The Manuscripts of Rev James McLagan (1728-1805) in Context


Join us for a conference on eighteenth-century manuscript culture in the wider Gaelic World with a focus on fiannaigheacht lays and ‘Ossian’, scholarly networks, oral tradition, historical & political contexts for manuscript creation & collection.


When: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – 09:15

Where: Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Tickets: Full price €10 Concession (student, retired, unemployed) €8

Click here to book your place


The Rev. James McLagan (1728-1805) was a pre-eminent Scottish Gaelic scholar, poet, manuscript-collector, lexicographer as well as a military chaplain. His career with the Black Watch regiment saw him on active military service throughout Ireland, the Isle of Man and in the American War of Independence.


Using McLagan and his extensive collection of Gaelic literary material as a point of departure, this event explores issues of eighteenth-century Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic manuscript and literary culture, with a particular focus on fiannaigheacht lays and ‘Ossian’, scholarly networks, oral tradition, historical and political contexts for manuscript creation and collection.


This event is part of the ‘Gaelic Literature in Enlightenment Scotland: The McLagan Ossianic material’ research network, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and led by Celtic and Gaelic, University of Glasgow, with the support of the Royal Irish Academy’s Coiste Léann na Gaeilge, Litríocht na Gaeilge agus na gCultúr Ceilteach.



09:15 Fàilte | Fáilte: Prof. Alan Titley MRIA
09.30  Dr Sìm Innes, University of Glasgow Creating a McLagan online resource: ‘Teanntachd Mhòr na Fèinne’ as case study 
10:00  Dr Geraldine Parsons, University of Glasgow ‘Mas Oisean liath mi’:  James McLagan’s Ossianic interests in a military context
10:30  Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin, University College Cork The moral of fianaigheacht
11:00  Tea/coffee
 Prof. Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, University of Glasgow Muiris Ó Gormáin Manuscripts in Scotland
12:00  Prof. Nigel Leask, University of Glasgow ‘My scepticism is vanishing like the morning mist’: John Leyden and Ossian Tourism, circa 1800
12:30  Dr Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, Aberystwyth University McLagan and Ossian in the Isle of Man
13:00  Lunch and Library Exhibition
  Dr Síle Ní Mhurchú, University College Cork On the manuscript transmission of some of the lays of Fionn mac Cumhaill
14:30  Dr Anja Gunderloch, University of Edinburgh ‘Laoidh an Deirg’ in the McLagan Collection
15:00  Prof. Ruairí Ó hUiginn, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies ‘Laoidh Chonnlaoich’: text and transmission
15:30  Tea/coffee
Alasdair MacIlleBhàin Performance of songs from the McLagan manuscripts    
17:00  Close