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The Lion Rampant

 

The Bachuil Mor of St Moluag

The Bachuil was the symbol of the Saints authority and was passed on by a Coarb on his deathbed to his designated successor. The Bachuil Mor of St Moluag was treated with veneration akin to awe by the people. Like the staff of St. Patrick of Armagh, the famous Bachull Isu, the staff of Moluag possessed, in the simple faith of the times, miraculous powers. The Bachuil Mor was carried by the Coarbs in their official capacity at sight of which all men were bound to pay him homage.

“ In the late 1800s the Duke of Argyll of that day paid Baron Alexander a visit and during conversation expressed a wish to see the pastoral staff. The Baron was only too pleased to accede to this request from his distinguished guest. The Duke examined the staff and appeared to be thrilled at the opportunity of holding it in his hand. He commented on its great age and the centuries of history which were bound up with it. When handing it back to the Baron, he seemed to think of something suddenly and said: "No, of course not: you could not let any one take the Bachull Mor out of Lismore. All the same, I should have liked to have shown it to a great friend of mine: he would be tremendously interested to see it." "That will be all right," said his host: "I can trust your Grace to look after it and return it safely." With many expressions of thanks and an assurance that it would be returned safely within a few weeks, the Duke of Argyll departed with the Bachull Mor.

There it stayed in 'safe keeping' despite many requests for it to be returned. However, the present Baron persuaded the 11th Duke to return the staff. It was duly returned by his son the 12th Duke who died so tragically in April 2001. Ian, the 12th Duke was the first to succeed his father to the title since the Bachull Mor was removed which makes one wonder about the old prophecy, only the mildest fragment of which is left. Although memory fails the word of prophecy will not fail.” Here is the fragment:

B'c 'n la dubh air son Lios Mor
Nur dh'fhag am bata buidhe e.
Bu nifflosa than n ionbhar-aora
Nur thug MacCailein Mor 'n sin e.
Bithidh esan, ged 's rnor a ghloir
Gun bheannachd, 's a thigh dol fas,
Co fhad 's a chumas c dha fhein
Am Bachull Mor bho chill Mholuaig.

(Black was the day for Lismore,
When the Yellow Staff left it.
But worse 't was in Inveraray,
When MacCailein Mor took it there.
Though glorious he, he shall be
Without blessing, his house going desolate,
So long as he keeps to himself
The Great Staff from Kilmoluag.)

Viewing the Staff of St Moluag - the Bachuil Mor

Those wishing to view the staf f can make arrangements to do so by telephoning the Dowager Madam Livingstone of Bachuil on 01631 760256.

Last updated 22 May, 2008