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IT is now well understood that the Celts came out of the east. The migration did not stop till it had reached the shores of the Atlantic. The Celtic flood was followed by the migrations of subsequent races Huns, Goths, Vandals, Franks, these variously called themselves and before the successive waves the Celts were driven to the western coast, like the bad of foam driven up by breeze and tide upon a beach. This process was seen on our own islands when the British populance were driven westward by the waves of Saxons, Angles, and Danes (fifth and subsequent centuries). Thus driven to the western shores these Celts were known, down to the Norman Conquest, as the Britons or Welsh of Strathclyde, of Wales, and of West Wales or Cornwall.
Beyond the Forth and among the mountain fastnesses, as well as the south of Galloway, the Celtic race continued to hold its own. By the Roman chroniclers the tribes there were known as the Caledonians or Picts. Between the Forth and the Grampians were the Southern Picts, north of the Grampians were the Northern Picts, and at Galloway were the Niduarian Picts. To which branch of the Celtic race, British or Gaelic, or a separate branch by themselves, the Picts belonged, is not now known. From the fact that after the Roman legions were withdrawn they made fierce war upon the British tribes south of the Forth, it seems likely that they were not British. Dr. W. F. Skene, postulated his Highlanders, took elaborate measures to prove that the Picts were Gaelic, an earlier wave of the same race as the Gaels or Scots who then peopled Ireland, at that time known as Scotia.
Exactly how these Scots came to the sister isle is not now known. From their own tradition they derived their name from Scota, daughter of one of the Pharoahs, whom one of their leaders married as they passed westward through Egypt, and it is possible they may be identified with the division of the Celtic tribes which passed along the north coast of Africa. According to Gaelic tradition the Scots migrated from Spain to the south of Ireland. The same tradition tells how they brought with them the flat brown stone, about 9 inches thick, known as the Lia Fail, or Stone of Fate, on which their royalty were crowned, and which was said to have been Jacobís pillow at Bethel on the flats of Luz. From Ireland they began to cross to Kintyre the "Headland "in the sixth century. Their three leaders were Fergus, Lorn, and Angus, Sons of Erc, and their progress was not always a matter of peaceful settlement. Fergus, for example, made a landfall on Ayrshire, and defeated and slew Coyle the British leader of the district, whose tumulus is still to be seen at Coylesfield, and whose name is still commemorated as that of the region, Kyle, and with popular rhymes about "Old King Cole."
At Kintyre and the adjoining neighbourhood the Invaders established the little Dalriadic kingdom, so called from their place of origin in the north-east of Ireland, Dal-Riada, the "Portion of Riada," conquered in the third century by Fergusís ancestor, Cairbre-Riada, brother of Cormac, an Irish King. They had their first capital at Dun-add near the present Crinan Canal, and from their possession the district about Loch Awe took the name of Oire-Gaidheal, or Argyll, the "Land of the Gael."
These settlers were Christian, and the name of their patron saint, Kiaran, remains in Kilkiaran, the old name of Campbeltown, Kilkiaran in Islay, Kilkiaran in Lismore, and Kilkerran in Carrick, which last, curiously enough, is a possession of the Fergusons at the present time.