Saturday, August 29, 2009

The missing 26th chapter of "The Montgomery Manuscripts"

Back in 2006, when I had just started my term as Chairman with the Ulster-Scots Agency, we produced cd/text-searchable/facsimile editions of both The Montgomery Manuscripts and The Hamilton Manuscripts. Both are the respective family records of the 1606 Settlement, right up to the early 1700s whe they were first written. Both had been published as books with extensive footnotes in the mid 1800s. The cd editions have been hugely popular and have been ordered by people all over the world.

It's a long story, and one which will feature on a forthcoming episode of "A Kist O Wurds" on Radio Ulster, but just over the past week it has emerged that there were just 8 special copies of the Montgomery Manuscripts printed with an extra chapter, printed as an Appendix. "Sparky" Tollerton, of Stacks Bookshop in Dundonald, has 2 of the 8 copies! He and I were interviewed about the volumes just yesterday, for "Kist".

The extra chapter is entitled "Incidental Remembrances of the Two Ancient Families of the Savages in the lower half Barony called the Little Ards". Sparky let me take high-res digital photographs of all 12 pages, which are as breathtakingly detailed in their footnoting and referencing as the rest of the Montgomery MSS.

So, a little light reading for me, and fresh research material too... but more than that - it's potentially literary gold-dust! First page is below, click to enlarge: