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MS G 27

Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in National Library of Ireland

G 27

Martyrology of Donegal

17th cent. Paper. 17×14.5 cms. Pp. 124 + [10]. There is neither subscriptio nor date but it is written in a good 17th cent, hand and the paper shows a 17th cent. watermark. The hand appears to be similar to the unidentified hand in G 53 infra, pp. 1-42 (cf. pp. 6, 9-11 of latter ms. with pp. 90-95 of present ms. for similar variations in style of handwriting). A gathering of later paper has been used to form the front and back end papers of the ms. The first three pages of this paper were used by a later unidentified scribe for some tentative lists of bishops ; the hand of this scribe appears also in the marginal references to Colgan's work (see pp. 27 , 50 , 101 , 108 , 109 , 110 ) and in the names of some of the months (see pp. 99 , 109 , 124 , [125] ). Two other unidentified hands appear in the ms., one, a neat hand, filling in some gaps and giving emendations in the margins (see pp. 71 , 73 , 119 , 121 , 124 ), the other giving additional matter (see p. 10 ). There is no scribal pagination.

The ms. is unbound, in poor condition, and several pages are stained ; the edges are torn and what remains of some of the lower edges is very fragile. However, since the scribe generally left substantial margins, there is no loss of text. The shelfmark 4to/No. 1 Irish MSS. Paper of the Heber collection and Phillipps MS. 9362 appear on the front page and some pencilled numbers on the back.

The Martyrology of Donegal contained in this ms. (pp. 7-124) shows affinity to the shorter copy of the Martyrology which Michael O'Clery finished in the Convent at Donegal in 1628 two years before the more complete copy which he finished in the same place in 1630. This shorter version is preserved in the Royal Library, Brussels, and is no. 505 (4639) in Catalogue des Manuscrits de la Bibliothéque Royale de Belgique. It is described in Proc. R.I.A., vol. iii, p. 486 (1845-1847) and Martyrology of Donegal, ed. Todd and Reeves, 1864, p. xii.

The present copy is incomplete owing to loss of leaves, the lacunae occuring in the following places : (1) after p. 30 a loss of one leaf (corres. to fol. 25v-27r of O'Clery) ; (2) after p. 76 a loss of two leaves (corresponding to fol. 63v-66r of O'Clery) ; (3) after p. 124, where the text breaks off at November 12 (corresponding to fol. 105r of O'Clery), there is a loss of several leaves which presumably included the remainder of the Calendar and the Index of the names of saints (concluding on fol. I78r in O'Clery's copy).

A few omissions occur in the following places : (1) p. 33 after 1. 13 five entries omitted (cf. O'Clery fol. 29V); (2) p. 52 after last line three entries omitted (cf. O'Clery fol. 44r) and (3) p. 98 after 1. 18 several lines of text omitted (cf. O'Clery fol. 84v).

The main difference between this copy and O'Clery's is in the dates, there being in places a discrepancy of a 100 yrs. or there abouts (cf. p. 24 , 1. 6 date 577, p. 43 last line date 674, p. 58 1.13 date 656). In such cases O'Clery, rather than the present ms., corresponds with annalistic dating. In other cases the dis­crepancy ranges from one to six years. Occasionally where O'Clery has deleted one date in favour of another, this copy retains the deleted date. Other minor differences between this copy and O'Clery's are : (1) differences in orthography and in scribal practice (e.g. by having Anno Domini for O'Clery's "Aois Criost" ; (2) occasional differences in the order of names (see pp. 11 , 38 , 54 , 84 , 105 ); (3) a few phrases which are deleted (and in such a manner as to make them illegible) in O'Clery are included in this transcript (see p. 87 , 1. 1 Lith a hainm, p. 94 , 1. 10 O Inis Cathaigh no); (4) only in a few places (see p. 12 , 1. 10, p. 91 , 1. 8 ) has this copy got additional words which are not in O'Clery.


1 -3 Lists of Bishops. Headed Bishops of Glandaloch. Incomplete. 4-6 Blank.

7 Michael O'Clery. [MARTYROLOGY OF DONEGAL]. Variant of O'Clery's shorter copy of the Martyrology (see introductory remarks supra). Beg. Ianuarius. A. Kalendis Ianuarii. Dabheocc Locha Geircc. Breaks off (p. 124 ) at November 12 (corresponding to fol. 105r of O'Clery). The last ten pages (end papers of later date) are blank.