Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 35.djvu/14

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McCombie
MacConmidhe
8

a third edition in 1856. His other publications were: 1. ‘Unity and Schism,’ 1838. 2. ‘Moral Agency,’ 1841. 3. ‘Life and Remains of Alexander Bethune,’ 1844. 4. ‘Capital and Labour,’ 1846. 5. ‘Essays on Education,’ 1857. 6. ‘Modern Civilisation,’ 1864; and 7. ‘A Pamphlet on the Irish Land Question,’ 1869. He had been accustomed to preach occasionally in baptist and other pulpits, and after his death his daughter edited a volume of his sermons, 1871.

[Aberdeen Daily Free Press, 13 May 1870; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. R. M.

McCOMBIE, WILLIAM (1805–1880), cattle-breeder, born at Tillyfour, Aberdeenshire, in 1805, was younger son of Charles McCombie, a large farmer and cattle-dealer. He was educated at the parish school and Aberdeen University, but refused to follow any calling except that of his father. The beginning of railway traffic and the improvement of agricultural methods and stock convinced McCombie that the old method of cattle-dealing needed reform. In 1840 he began to breed black-polled cattle, and founded the herd with which his name is associated. He was the first Scottish exhibitor of fat cattle at Birmingham, and he won in all over five hundred great prizes, including the cup given by Prince Albert for the best animal of the French or foreign classes at Poissy in 1862, and a similar honour at the Paris Exhibition in 1878. In 1867 the queen visited Tillyfour to inspect the famous herd, when McCombie gathered together from his farms four hundred head of black cattle. Besides his cattle-breeding McCombie gave great attention to agriculture, and was one of the largest farmers in Aberdeenshire. In 1868 he was returned as a liberal without opposition to represent the western division of his native county in parliament, and was the first tenant farmer representative from Scotland. In 1874 he was re-elected by a large majority. Failing health compelled him to resign in 1876, and he spent the rest of his life at Tillyfour, which he had purchased in 1875, on the death of his eldest brother. He died unmarried on 1 Feb. 1880.

His work, ‘Cattle and Cattle-breeders,’ first published in 1867, reached a fourth edition in 1886.

Aberdeen Daily Free Press, 3 Feb. 1880.]

J. R. M.

MACCONMIDHE, GILLABRIGHDE (fl. 1260), historian and poet, was a member of a family which for more thiin three centuries acted as hereditary poets of the Cinel Eoghain, the O'Neills, and their kindred septs. He was bom about 1200, and wrote a poem on Calhal Croibhdhearg O'Conor [q. v.] during the lifetime of that king, who died in 1224. Brian O'Neill, chief of the Cinel Eoghain, once gave him twenty horned cows (fiche bo bheannach) for poem, and on another occasion, after the feativities of May day, gave him twenty cows, besides gold and clothing. When not attending O'Neill the poet travelled through Tyrone and Derry, and frequently visited the chief of the Clan O'Glairmleadhaigh, whose blue eyes he praises, and Amlaibh, chief of the O'Laithbheartaighs. He was with Brian O'Neill at the battle of Down in 1260, when that chief was slain by the Lord-justice Stephen Longespée. The king's head was gone when his body was found on the field, and the poet believed that it had been sent to Henry III of England. He attended the body to Armagh, where it was buried on the north side of the church, west of the tomb of Brian Boroimhe [q. v.] He also visited the disert at Derry, where the body of O'Gairmleadhaigh, who was also slain at Down, was buried. He then wrote a lament of 280 lines on the defeat and the death of Brian. In this be recalls the achievements of the Cinel Koghaln. how they defeated the Oirghialla and the Ulidians, and made the Danes of Dublin pay tribute ; how in very old times they made chessmen of the bones of defeated Leinstermen, carried off Ceallachan [q, v.], king of Munster, and made Conchohhar, king of Connaught, a captive. Then he praises O'Neill and his allied chieftains, tells of the battle and the slain, and ends with an invocation of St. Bridget. Four copies of the poem were known to O'Donovan, who from the oldest, a vellum manuscript, belonging to John Nugent of Farranconnell, co. Cavan, printed the text with a translation in the 'Miscellany of the Celtic Society.' Dublin, 1849. The name in sometimes erroneously anglicised MacNamee.

Subsequent members of this literary family who are mentioned in the Irish chronicles are:

Eachmareach MacConmidhe (d. 1420), poet

Maelisa MacConmidhe (d. 1434), ollav (i.e. chronicler) of O'Neill,

Tadhg MacConmidhe (d. 1493), poet, son of Conchobhar Ruadh, and grandson of Eachmarcach, who was murdered by one of his own henchmen.

Solamh MacConmidhe (d. 1507), ollav of O'Neill, famous in general literature and poetry, son of John (d 30 Oct. 1607),

Brian MacConmidhe (d. 1542). man of letters, cursed by MacRohhartaigh, keeper of the Cross of Columcille, for insulting the