The Beatons of Mull
Written by Christine Leach , Andrea Cameron , Miek Zwamborn , Elizabeth Carter
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About the Book
The discovery of a long-forgotten physic garden and the restoration of an old weathered Celtic cross on a coastal headland on the beautiful Scottish island of Mull led the authors of this book on a fascinating voyage into the history of one branch of a famous medical family – the Beatons.
The story explores the Beatons’ arrival from Ireland in the early 12th century, when they joined the court of what was to become the Lords of the Isles. Trained in the classical Gaelic tradition, over the years their expertise led them to minister to Lords, Lairds and Kings of Scotland. At some point, one of the Beaton physicians came over to Mull in the entourage of chiefs of the Maclean clan and subsequently was awarded land – at Pennycross in the south of the island.
This book looks at the contemporary historical setting, the type of medicine practised by the Beatons, the use they made of herbal treatments (a use which has not disappeared to the present day) and the almost unbelievable survival of Gaelic manuscripts from their library.
Christine Leach moved to Mull more than 30 years ago to work at the YMCA Outdoor Centre at Tavool. She established Pennyghael in the Past Historical Archive, and with a group of like-minded enthusiasts, set about exploring and recording the remains of townships in the Brolas area.
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