17 SEPTEMBER 1921, Page 14

[To TES EDITOR Of TEl " SPECS/TORY] Sin,—There is no

need to accept Carlyle as an authority, but when he made the statement that the original inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands were " of Norse breed," it is possible he had in mind the results of the researches of an eminent antiquary. John Pinkerton, F.S.A., in his Enquiry into the History of Scotland (first published in 1790), collected an inte- resting and valuable mass of evidence which seems to justify, among other conclusions, the following: (1) That the Picts were a Gothic race from Scandinavia; (2) that about 200 B.C. they landed in the Hebrides, and gradually drove the Celtic inhabit- ants of the Western and Central Highlands into Ireland and into Clydesdale and Galloway; (9) that the Dalriads (Scoti), who came from Ireland, settled in a portion of the Pictish territory about 258, were repelled to Ireland in 456, and established a second colony in 503, but never spread beyond Argyle until the Pictish and Dalriadic kingdoms were united under Kenneth in 843.

Pinkerton also deals with words and place-names alleged to be Celtic, and is able to show that in many rases they can be derived from Gothic. This author is supposed to have been absurdly and bitterly prejudiced against the Celtio race, and certainly his language is at times intemperate. But has anyone been able to confute his theory by evidence of as high a standard as that which he adduces in support of it?—I am, Sir, &c., J. C. Taosisort. Greenhorn Common, Newbury.