PS 217 – The Rout of Ben Doig

      Cumha nam Marbh

      Ruaig Beinn Doig

Primary Sources

Ruaig Ben Doeg / The Rout of Bendoeg R.35: 25v
K1 Cumha na Mairbh / Lament for the Dead K1.23: [63]
KK Cumha na Mairbh / Lament for the Dead / Ruaig Bein Doig KK.17: 31

Notes on Gaelic Titles

Cumha nam Marbh Cumha na Mairbh / Lament for the Dead K1 & KK. Lament for the Dead. The Gaelic spelling here has been amended to treat ‘the dead’ as plural on the basis of Angus MacKay’s use of the article na, taken to be for nam though pronounced as he writes it. Colin Campbell’s English names – One of the Deads Lament (PS 140) and Dead’s Lament (PS 141) – also suggest a plural form, the first title being his peculiar non-native way of saying ‘One of the Laments for the Dead’. On the other hand, MacKay’s spelling mairbh with the vowel ‘ai’ suggests  he treated ‘the dead’ as singular.

Ruaig Beinn Doig Ruaig Ben Doeg / The Rout of Bendoeg R; Ruaig Bein Doig KK. The Rout of Ben Doig, identified with Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl). ‘Ben Doig’ is listed in Robert Forsyth, The Beauties of Scotland, IV (Edinburgh, 1806) p. 192; and Abraham Rees, The Cyclopedia, XXVI (London, 1819) under ‘Perthshire’; but is spelled ‘Benderig’ in George Alexander Cooke, A General Description of Scotland (London, ?1805), p. 29; and Thomas Walford, The Scientific Tourist Through England, Wales and Scotland, I (London, 1818), appendix: ‘Heights of Hills in Scotland’. Ben Doig and Benderig are evidently the same mountain as all four lists give exactly the same height, 3550 feet. The spelling ‘derig’ suggests identification with Beinn Dearg (3307 feet), north of Blair Atholl. Although the large number of peaks in Perthshire and the discrepancy in height (243 feet) leaves some room for uncertainty, a similar difference (226 feet) exists between the heights published for Ben Ledi: 3009 feet in the four early lists; 2783 feet according to the Ordnance Survey.

Roderick Cannon (2009), rev. Barnaby Brown 2015

Other Material

William Donaldson’s Set Tunes Notes (2009)


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