Skip to main content

Story under the heading 'Roin' entitled 'Buala Na Sgeir', c1875

Identifier: Coll-97/CW112/40

Scope and Contents

Story under the heading 'Roin' entitled 'Buala Na Sgeir' telling of a seal-hunting trip to Taisgeir [Eilean Hasgeir/Heisker Island] during which a storm broke and in order to save their boat, the crew all got on board. One boy from Howgearraidh [Hogha Ghearraidh/Hougharry, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist] did not manage to get on board and so was left behind. The boy was sad and so he lit a fire in a hidden spot beneath a rock. Many seals returned to the rock and began mourning the seals which had been killed. They took off their trusgan or mantles and were just like other people. The boy saw one very beautiful seal and he stole her mantle so that when the seal people were putting their mantles back on to return to sea she noticed her mantle was missing and started searching for it. Eventually she found the boy wearing her mantle and demanded it back. He gave her the tail of his plaid and kindly invited her to warm herself by the fire. This she did and she spent the night with him wrapped in his plaid. In the morning she demanded her mantle back but he would not give it to her. The storm having abated, the boy's companions returned for him and the seal-woman followed him onto the boat and all the way home. She was the most beautiful woman in the country and she bore him three sons and stayed with him for nine years. The boy hid her mantle away because he knew that as soon as she got it she would take to the sea and never return. One day their eldest son finds the mantle and runs to tell his mother to come and see the beautiful mantle his father had hidden. She goes to get the mantle and puts it on. Before she goes into the sea she tells her sons that she will never return but that they should come to the shore every morning and she will given them a fish. This they did and every day they got fish and saw their mother as a seal singing a song beginning 'Mo ghaol 's mo ghradh eir gille a fhuilt bhain, Mo ghaol 's mo ghradh 's mo luaidh'. The song is composed of nine lines and it looks as if it is incomplete as there are several lines blank after it and before the next item begins.


  • Creation: c1875

Language of Materials

English Gaelic

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 183 folios ; 20 x 23.8cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 103r, line 16 to folio 106r, line 6

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379