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Story entitled 'Tomas Reibhair', 8 February 1861

Identifier: Coll-97/CW109/22

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'Tomas Reibhair' ['Thomas the Rhymer'] collected from Iain MacChoinich [John MacKenzie] from 'eilean Chollach' at Carbost [Cola/Coll, Càrabost, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach/Isle of Skye]. A man was buying six horses, all of them with a golden yellow forelock and after buying the last one, his servant recognised him as Thomas the Rhymer. He asks her which eye did you recognise me with and she said it was her right eye whereupon he put his finger on her eye and she was blinded. Although she had worked for him for a year and seen his resplendent surroundings she had not recognised him before that nor mentioned his wealth to anyone. A farmer goes to Dùn Bhreatainn [Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire] to sell flour and is approached by a nobleman (Thomas) who offers to buy it. They agree a price but he asks the farmer to follow him, which he does. They arrive at Dùn Bhuc [Dumbuck, Dunbartonshire] and go into the hall, which is the grandest hall the farmer has ever seen although he has never heard of it before. The farmer is surprised to see that the house is full of men, asleep with their weapons in front of them. They then see chains of light on the roof and the farmer touches them. They start to clatter and clang and wake up the men, who jump to their feet with their weapons shouting, 'Now is the time!' Thomas tells the men it is not time and that they should go back to sleep. He is angry with the farmer for doing this and throws him out and no one sees the house again. The story continues that this is the person about whom Coinneach Odhar/The Brathan Seer spoke. One day five hundred men will fall and a young king will retain them and Scotland will be well. There will be a miller with seven fingers - the Miller of Partick [Muillear Phearaig], and there was indeed a miller who saw many things.


  • Creation: 8 February 1861

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 3 notebooks of 80 folios ; 21 x 25 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 46v, line 1 to folio 47v, line 14

Related Materials



Lyle, E. B., 'Thomas of Erceldoune: The Prophet and the Prophesied', Foklore, vol. 79, no. 2 (Summer, 1968), pp. 111-121
Campbell, John Gregorson and Black, Ronald (ed.), 'The Celtic Year' in The Gaelic Otherworld (Edinburgh, 2005), pp. 147-149, 398-403

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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