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05/05/2008

Tha litir bheag na seachdain-sa aig Ruaraidh MacIllEathain.

5 minutes

Last on

Mon 5 May 2008 19:00

An Litir Bheag 156

Bha an Sairdseant Artair Davies aira mhurt ann am Bràigh Mhàrr. Bhasin ann an seachd ceud deug,ceathrad ’s a naoi (1749). Nochd athaibhse do chìobair, Alasdair Maca’ Phearsain. Bha sin naoi mìosanàs dèidh a bhàis.Lorg Alasdair an corp. Achcha do thiodhlaic e an corp.Bhruidhinn e ris an uachdaran.Thug an t-uachdaran comhairle dhagun a bhith ag innse dad don arm.Dh’iarr e air Alasdair an corp athiodhlacadh anns a’ mhonadh.Cha do thill Alasdair donchorp. Ach thill an taibhse donbhothan. Dh’iarr an taibhse airAlasdair an corp a thiodhlacadh.Dh’fhaighnich Alasdair cò mhuirte. Thug an taibhse dà ainm seachad– Donnchadh Mac a’ Chlèirichagus Alasdair Dòmhnallach. An athlatha chaidh Alasdair agus caraidaige don chorp. Thiodhlaic iad e.Ach chan fhaca iad an gunnano an ad aig an t-saighdear. Trothìde, bha na rudan sin air an lorg.Chaidh Donnchadh Mac a’Chlèirich agus AlasdairDòmhnallach a chur an grèim. Bhasin as t-Sultain seachd ceud deug, eth-cheud ’s a trì (1753), ceithirbliadhna às dèidh a’ mhuirt. Bhacasaidean air an dithis gun domhuirt iad an Sàirdseant Davies.Bha fios aig muinntir an àitegum b’ iad na murtairean. Bhaeadhon an luchd-lagha aca fhèin a’smaoineachadh gun robh iadciontach. Ach gu h-annasach, rinnan diùraidh an co-dhùnadh gunrobh iad neo-chiontach. Ciamar arinn iad sin? Uill, bha e cocheangailteris a’ Ghàidhlig.Dh’innis Alasdair Mac a’Phearsain, an cìobair, don chùirt dèthuirt an taibhse. Thuirt an taibhsegum b’ iad Mac a’ Chlèirich agusDòmhnallach na murtairean. Agusdè an cànan a bha an taibhse a’bruidhinn? A’ Ghàidhlig, thuirt ancìobair. Ach an robh Gàidhlig aigan t-Sairdseant Davies nuair a bha ebeò? Cha robh, thuirt an cìobair.Mar sin, cha do chreid an diùraidhan fhianais aig a’ chìobair.Ach an robh an cìobair fhèinneo-chiontach? An do “chruthaich”e fhèin an taibhse? Chan eil fiosagainn. Ach bha e annasach fianaisa chluinntinn bho thaibhse ann ancùirt-lagha ann an Alba!

The Little Letter 156

Sergeant Arthur Davies wasmurdered in Braemar. That was inseventeen hundred and forty nine(1749). His ghost appeared to ashepherd, Alasdair MacPherson.That was nine months after hisdeath.Alasdair found the body. Buthe didn’t bury the body. He spoketo the landlord. The landlord gavehim advice not to say [be telling]anything to the army. He askedAlasdair to bury the body on thehill.Alasdair didn’t return to thebody. But the ghost returned to thebothy. The ghost asked Alasdair tobury the body. Alasdair asked whomurdered him. The ghost gave twonames – Duncan Clark andAlasdair MacDonald. The next dayAlasdair and a friend of his wentto the body. They buried it.But they didn’t see thesoldier’s gun or hat. In time, thosethings were found. Duncan Clarkand Alasdair MacDonald werearrested. That was in Septemberseventeen hundred and fifty three(1753), four years after the murder. The pair were accused ofmurdering Sergeant Davies.The local people knew theywere the murderers. Even theirown lawyers thought they wereguilty. But, strangely, the jurymade the decision that they werenot guilty. How did they do that?Well, it was connected to theGaelic language.Alasdair MacPherson, theshepherd, told the court what theghost [had] said. The ghost saidthat Sinclair and MacDonald werethe murderers. And what languagewas the ghost speaking? Gaelic,said the shepherd. But didSergeant Davies speak Gaelicwhen he was alive? No, said theshepherd. Thus, the jury did notbelieve the shepherd’s evidence.But was the shepherdhimself innocent? Did he “create”the ghost himself? We don’t know.But it was strange hearingevidence from a ghost in a court oflaw in Scotland!

All the letters

An Litir Bheag 122

Tha gach Litir Bheag an seo / All the Little Letters are here.

Podcast: An Litir Bheag

Ruairidh

The Little Letter for Gaelic Learners

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