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TITLE
Origins of the Brahan Seer
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_ELIZSUTHERLAND_05
DATE OF RECORDING
1991
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Elizabeth Sutherland
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1615
KEYWORDS
second sight
prophecies
prophecy
James VI
audio

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The Brahan Seer, known in his native language as 'Coinneach Odhar', was a legendary seventeenth-century Highland folk prophet who foretold future events. Many of his predictions have been shown to come true. In this extract, taken from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, Elizabeth Sutherland talks about the fate and origins of the Brahan Seer.

After making his prediction that the Countess Isabella of Seaforth's husband, the Earl of Seaforth, was having an affair with a French woman, Isabella the Countess, instead of being angry with her husband, took it out on the wretched Seer and ordered that he be burned or be brought to trial which was of course a foregone conclusion. And he was burned down by the lighthouse on Fortrose Ness and there's a stone there that marks the event. The interesting thing is that there is a historically documented figure of that name but he lived, in fact, a century before the third Earl and Countess of Seaforth. He must have been a very sinister figure indeed because he's mentioned in two writs ordering his arrest by the high heid yins of Ross-Shire and Inverness, and the writs were issued at Holyrood Palace by Jamie Saxt (James the Sixth). They mention him as Coinneach, spelt as an English clerk would spell that word, K.E.N.O.C.H., Odhar, which means sallow or sun-burned, spelt O.W.I.R., the way the Gaelic pronounce it but not the way it's spelt, and he was described as the principal leader in the art of magic, incantation, and poisoning. So a very sinister figure. I think what happened there was that he was such a dominant figure in the sixteenth century that he was turned into a folk hero, an anti-establishment martyr, really, by the story tellers who needed a hero, and who better than someone who had been persecuted by the lairds? His predictions, in fact, cover five centuries so I think what's happened is the term, 'Brahan Seer', is a collective word for all Highland Seers throughout the centuries, and there have been many, many of them

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Origins of the Brahan Seer

1990s

second sight; prophecies; prophecy; James VI; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Brahan Seer

The Brahan Seer, known in his native language as 'Coinneach Odhar', was a legendary seventeenth-century Highland folk prophet who foretold future events. Many of his predictions have been shown to come true. In this extract, taken from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, Elizabeth Sutherland talks about the fate and origins of the Brahan Seer.<br /> <br /> After making his prediction that the Countess Isabella of Seaforth's husband, the Earl of Seaforth, was having an affair with a French woman, Isabella the Countess, instead of being angry with her husband, took it out on the wretched Seer and ordered that he be burned or be brought to trial which was of course a foregone conclusion. And he was burned down by the lighthouse on Fortrose Ness and there's a stone there that marks the event. The interesting thing is that there is a historically documented figure of that name but he lived, in fact, a century before the third Earl and Countess of Seaforth. He must have been a very sinister figure indeed because he's mentioned in two writs ordering his arrest by the high heid yins of Ross-Shire and Inverness, and the writs were issued at Holyrood Palace by Jamie Saxt (James the Sixth). They mention him as Coinneach, spelt as an English clerk would spell that word, K.E.N.O.C.H., Odhar, which means sallow or sun-burned, spelt O.W.I.R., the way the Gaelic pronounce it but not the way it's spelt, and he was described as the principal leader in the art of magic, incantation, and poisoning. So a very sinister figure. I think what happened there was that he was such a dominant figure in the sixteenth century that he was turned into a folk hero, an anti-establishment martyr, really, by the story tellers who needed a hero, and who better than someone who had been persecuted by the lairds? His predictions, in fact, cover five centuries so I think what's happened is the term, 'Brahan Seer', is a collective word for all Highland Seers throughout the centuries, and there have been many, many of them