'Daddy Auld ! daddie Auld, there's a tod in the fauld,
A tod meikle waur than the clerk;
Tho' ye do little skaith, ye'll be in at the death,
For if ye canna bite, ye may bark
Daddy Auld ! Gif ye canna bite, ye may bark'
The Kirk's Alarm
The Reverend William Auld ('Daddy Auld' in 'The Kirk's
Alarm') had nothing to say of Robert Burns in the 1795
Statistical Account of the parish of Mauchline[1], but he did
offer his own views on the origins of the place-name
Mauchline [MAUCHLINE]. Assessing some old forms of the
name, Machlein, Machlene and Machlin he concluded that it
was derived from the Gaelic 'field of the flax', presumably
from G. magh lion. Fifty years later in the next Statistical
Account [2], the Reverend John Tod offers magh 'field or
meadow' + linn,linne 'pool,lake' with the observation 'as the
fields around the town abound with springs there must
have been anciently a marsh or meadow'.
The only loch in
the parish at that time was Lochbrown covering some 60
acres but this has since been drained.

J.B. Johnston [3] concurs with his fellow minister and provides
a list of early forms of the name, Machlind i Cuil (from Irish
Nennius, see W.J.Watson below), c.1130 Machline, a. 1177
Mauchelin, c. 1200 Mauchlyn.

[1] Statistical Accounts of Scotland, Ayrshire 1791-1799
[2] Statistical Accounts of Scotland, Ayrshire and1845
[3] J.B.Johnston' Place-Names of Scotland'
[4] T. Campbell 'Ayrshire - A Historical Guide'
[5] 'Magic & Mythology'

W.J. Watson 'The Celtic Placenames of Scotland'
'Poems and Songs of Robert Burns' (Ed. James Barke)
Recently, Thorbjorn Campbell [4] in his assessment of the
influence of pagan deities on Ayrshire place-names considers
Mauchline as Macha llyn 'the pool of Macha'. Macha was
one the forms of the triple-goddess Morrighan, Nemainn, and
Badbh being the other two. Also known as 'Macha the Red',
she was renowned for displaying the heads of her defeated
enemies on poles. These head-trophies were called 'Macha's
Acorn Crop' and perhaps they were washed in Macha's pool
before display! [5]

One of the great tales of Morrighan, was the spurning of her
love by Cuchulainn. He was a great war hero and son of Lugh,
God of Light. Lugh was worshipped throughout the Celtic
world, and his name lives on in the place-name Loudon
[LOUDON], O. Celt Lugudunon 'fort of Lugus, Lugh', five miles
north of Mauchline. Coincidentally, Mauchline became a Burgh
of Regality, for the Earl of Loudon in 1707. Lugar Water,
W.llug 'bright', flows into the River Ayr in the parish of
Mauchline, about a mile to the south of the village - but no
Macha's pool at the confluence!

Amy B. Worden.
The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
By Robert Guthrie
Burns' Monument, Mauchline from the Tarbolton Road
Macha and her Acorn Crop
Burns' Trail
Mount Oliphant
New Cumnock
New World
Place-Names in the
Land o' Burns