Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654

Name: Blaeu, Joan, 1596-1673  
Title: Lennox sive Levinia; Stirling Shirifdome  
Pagination: 68-69
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Translation of text:

is rarer, for the mountains are smooth and less abundant in woods. At the extremities of this estuary, namely in Lochs Long and Fyne, there is each year a huge catch of herring, which lasts for several months; the inhabitants expend great zeal and toil on it, for the poorer people, especially the fishermen themselves, use these fish for a good part of the year not only for meat but for bread. The merchants make a very large profit from these fish, for they sell a quantity of them to outsiders. The whole region contains more or less twelve parishes or neighbourhoods, each of which has a church for sacred gatherings. The more distinguished families which live here or own lands are these: in first place the Stewarts, whose head the Duke of Lennox has ample estates of his own here, but also the lordship of the whole province, from which he has the title of Ducal dignity in this kingdom. Then there are the Campbells, whose head the Marquis of Argyll has possessions with ample houses and castles. Third are the Colquhouns who have very many estates and castles here; the family name is from an estate of the same name on the Clyde, which is so called from the curve or bend of the mountain; for Col or Cul is a bend to our ancestors, from the Greek kullos, that is curved; and Chon is a hill or mountain, from the Greek chonos; the same word from which our ancestors have Chonocha for a slope in watery valleys, and it is the name of a province in Ireland, as of some estates here. After these are the Napiers, who say that they descend from the ancient family of the Lennoxes, to whom belonged the lordship of the province before it came to the Stewarts. From these Napiers, whose chief he was while he lived, arose the great mathematician the Baron of Merchiston. Then there are the Sons of Pharlan or Mardalans (8) , who also ascribe their origin to the family of Lennoxes. After them are the Sons of Alan or Macalans, also Haldanes, who have large possessions and lordships here. There are also some of the Semples who have estates here; likewise some of the Hamiltons, next to the Clyde. Finally from the Buchanans very many have possessions around the Blane, Endrick, and Leven. There are also other lesser families in this regions, of whom I say nothing in this place. A good part of Severus’s Wall, as I said elsewhere, passes through this region, and ends on the Clyde near Dunglass, a castle of the Colquhouns, but of this elsewhere.

Islands on Loch Lomond (Section Note)

Yland Vealich, scarcely 100 yards in length, very close to the River Leven.

Two small islands (both anonymous) very close to the shore, at porten ylen.

Yland Abyz [Aber Isle?], not far from the mouth of the River Endrick. Yland Kerdaig, one of the smallest.

Yland Cuirnich, or Kernaig, is wooded but inhabited.

Inche-Chaille [Inchcailloch], which means Wooded island, is cultivated and fertile, and also has the parish church. To the south-south-east of it lies Turrinche [Torrinch], nearly 600 yards in length.

Close to this is Lack-ow, a small island.

Kre-inche [Creinch], scarcely equalling in extent a bow-shot. Carig-ow. All these small islands just mentioned lie between the aforementioned Inchcailloch and Inchmurrin.

Inche-Mourin or Inche-Merin [Inchmurrin], Marin’s Island, nearly two and a half miles in length, exceeds all the others in extent and nobility, suited to harvest and pasture, furnished with buildings, suited to the hunting of deer, whence the kings who took much pleasure in that frequently exercised themselves there in the hunt. Inche-Fadd [Inchfad], three miles to the north of there, fertile in crops, and not lacking in wood, with low and praised soil. Not far from here to the south-east is Darrach [Ellanderroch], that is oak island. Quarter of a mile from there is Ylen Cowan, taking its name from Cowan, a religious man considered divine in these regions. A short distance from there to the west is seen Inche-Crowny [Inchcruin], cultivated and with many inhabitants. Close by is Rosh, a small island touching the shore, which has the name Errachar-moir [Arrochymore].

This is followed by Carig-ow.

Kerdaig [Ceardach] to the west is close to Inche-Crowny [Inchcruin] already mentioned, small and covered with wood.

From there to the west follows Yland na Bock [Bucinch], or Island of goats, 800 or 1000 yards in length.

Not far from Inchmurrin to the north-west is Inche-Moyn [Inchmoan], one mile in length, for the most part rough with woodland.

From there very close to the west, 200 yards distant, is Iland na Chastel [Inchgalbraith], almost all covered with ivy, it has an ancient castle whence its name.

From there, three spears’ casts, follows Gowloch, one of the smallest, yet not lacking in trees.

From there to the west stands Inche-Davannan [Inchtavannach], a mile and a half in length and of equal width, with a decent scattering of trees, broom grows here profusely, there are many kinds of woodland berry, snakes are commonly found here; where it rises in mounds, it is called Tom-na-clag, striking for lovely habitations, gardens, and blooming with fruit trees on the shore that faces south-west. This island belong to the noble Earl of Glencairn.

To it clings in the south-west the island Nowag, having its names from lambs.

Very close to the north-east is Inche-Connagan [Inchconnachan], extending a mile in length, less than half in width, clothed with birch woods, fertile fields are not lacking, but many snakes live here.

A small anonymous island lies between the two larger ones just mentioned.

To the adjacent mainland called Strathcashell Point clings Yland Beg, whose name denotes a small area.

Inche-Lonaig [Inchlonaig], a mile and a half in length, half in width: here the yew tree grows commonly, which is not to be seen in these islands except here.

Near this to the south is Freuch-yland [Fraoch Eilean], tiny, and full of snakes.

From there a short distance to the south is Cammer-Raddach [Eilean na h'aon Chraoibhe ?], small and rough with woods and thorns.

There follows to the north west Creig-na-Skarrow.

At the previously mentioned shore Rosh lies Yland Rosh.

And close to this is a small island, anonymous.

Yland na Darragan, three miles up, covered with woods.

North of there (where the lake contracts to a narrow channel) is seen the island called Notyr-Gannich, which gets its name from the sands.

Seven miles above that is Yland Terbart [Tarbet Isle].

But from there five miles south lies Row-Glask [Inveruglas?], worth seeing for the comfortable house of the Chief of MacFarlane.

From the Tarbet Isle three miles to the north is Yland Ow [Island I Vow], noted for fine houses, gardens and groves. Three miles from there at the beginning of the whole loch is Yland Eaunlich, cultivated and inhabited.

FROM CAMDEN (Section Note)

Conterminous with Lennox to the north-east is the land of Stirling, its name taken from the chief town, in richness of soil and number of nobility second to no province of Scotland. Here is that narrow area of land, by which Clyde and Forth, or (to use the current terms) Dumbarton Firth and Edinburgh Firth, taken far inland by the tide of both seas, are held apart from touching each other. This was first observed by Julius Agricola, who penetrated to here and further, and he strengthened this space with defence-works, so that all the more southern part of Britain was then held by the Romans, the enemy being removed as it were into another island; so that Tacitus’ judgement was correct, that no other boundary for Britain should be sought (1). Nor in later times did the courage of its armies and the glory of the Roman name, which could scarcely be halted, push further forward in this part the boundaries of the empire, although from time to time it caused troubled with incursions. But after this glorious expedition of Agricola, he was recalled, and Britain, as Tacitus says (2), was let go and not retained as far as this. For the Caledonian Britons drove the Romans back to the River Tyne, with the result that Hadrian, who came to Britain approximately forty years later and carried out much remedial action there, did not advance further, but ordered that the God Boundary, who was accustomed to yield to no-one, should turn back from this place, as in the East on this side of the Euphrates, in deference to Hadrian himself. Hence the passage in St Augustine [City of God 4.29]: ‘The God Boundary, who did not yield to Juppiter, yielded to the will of Hadrian, yielded to the rashness of Julian, yielded to the compulsion of Jovianus (3).’ To the extent that Hadrian was content to set a turf wall between the Rivers Tyne and Esk 100 miles on this side of the Forth to the south. However Antoninus Pius, who was adopted by Hadrian and took his name, being called Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius, with Lollius Urbicus (whom he had sent here as legate) in command, again removed the barbarians beyond the Forth with another, as Capitolinus puts it (4), turf wall, scil. from that of Hadrian. That it was build in this place that we are discussing (and not by Severus as is commonly believed), I shall not call any witnesses other than two ancient inscriptions excavated here: one, fixed in the wall of a house at Cadder, informs us that the Second Augustan Legion built the wall for three miles and more, the other, now in the house of the Earl Marischal at Dunnottar, that a division of the Twentieth Victrix Legion built three miles. But read them yourselves, as Servatius Rihel, the noble Silesian, who has enquired rather carefully into these regions, has copied them for me:



At Cadder, where this latter is extant, another stone is displayed also, in which, held up by two small victories between a laurel crown, is read:


And in a district (called Monaebrugh) this inscription has been moved from the house of the Minister to the house of a noble which is built in the same place:


Now since the barbarians when Commodus was emperor had crossed this wall and down much damage, Severus restored the Hadrian’s wall, as we have already said. However later the Romans again took into their control the intervening region. For that Carausus under Diocletian reinforced this wall and fortified it with seven fortlets is recorded by Ninius (5). The Romans fortified this place for the last time when Theodosius the younger was emperor, under the command of Gallio of Ravenna. ‘Now they made’, says Bede, ‘a wall from turfs, constructing it not so much of stone as of turf, as having no-one skilled in such a great work, useful for nothing (6), for very many miles between two firths or gulfs of the sea, so that where the fortification of the waters was lacking, they might by the defence of the Wall protect their territory from the incursion of the enemy. Of this work made there, that is, a very wide and high Wall,

  [Continuation of text]

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