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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Fortingall bought for nation

7th June 2021

At an online auction held in May 2021 the National Library of Scotland purchased on behalf of the Scottish nation the 16th century Chronicle of Fortingall. This priceless manuscript was compiled by several authors in the period between the mid-16th century and about 1580 and contains various prose writings and poetry in the Gaelic, Latin and Scots languages. The manuscript opens a window on the multi-cultural and multi-lingual Scotland that once was, and has since been lost to us. A transcript of the original work was first published by editor Cosmo Innes in 1855 as part of the Black Book of Taymouth and, indeed, it was Innes who dubbed the manuscript the Chronicle of Fortingall, named after the place where it was compiled in Perthshire. The book contains poems in the Scots language by the famous makars William Dunbar (fl.1474-1513) and Robert Henryson (c.1460-c.1500) as well as Gaelic written in the Middle Scots spelling system and geographical tracts also written in Scots.

An audio version of this story in Scots is available below.


  • Fortingall bought for nation