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MS 23 P 6 (The Annals of the Four Masters)

Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in Royal Irish Academy


23 P 6

Annals of the Four Masters

17th cent. Paper, except two folios in vellum. Average measurement 9 × 6, inserted into leaves 13½ × 7 7/10; vellum leaves, 11 × 7. Ff. 287 numbered 1-34, after which come the two vellum leaves unnumbered (35 and 36 below), then the numbering recommences going from 1-145, where the leaf is marked 145-9, and continuing from 150-255. There are remains of the original ink foliation, which has been partially restored in pencil on the paper mount. Scribes : Michel Ó Cléricch, Cúcoigriche Ó Cléricch, Conaire Ó Cléricch, and two others, Dún na nGall, 1632-1636 (vide the Testimonium on the 2nd vellum leaf). A detailed study of the different hands has been made by O Curry (Acad. Cat., p, 284 ff.). Ff. 2v, 4v, 7v, 8v, and 5v bis are blank. The first seven folios are written in two columns. There are marginal notes and corrections by Charles O Conor. The edges of the leaves are considerably worn away at the beginning, involving the loss of part of the text, especially on the first sixteen pages. Bd. in leather with stamped ornamentation; gilt lettering on back : "Annals of the IV Masters, 1171-1499. Original MS. Royal Irish Academy." Accounts of the ms. are to be found in O Donovan's "Introductory Remarks" to his edition of the Annals (Vol. I, p. viii ff.), and in O Curry's "Lectures on the MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History" (Lect. VII). Former Academy number, 1/5.


1 . Notes used in the compilation of the Annals.

9 . Annals of the Four Masters, acephalous. The text begins with part of the entry for the year 1170 : . . . aibh Thicckearnain Ui Ruairc. Do radsat iarttain (— ed. O Donovan, Vol. II, p. 1178, 1. 7).

35 . Mícheál Ó Cléirigh's dedication to Feargal Ó Gadhra (= ed. O Donovan, Vol. I, lv).

36 . The Testimonium by Brothers Bernardinus Clery, Guardianus Dungallensis, Muiris Ulltach (two of this name), and Bonavantura Ó Domhnill, leathoir Jubilat (= ed. O Donovan, Vol. I, lxiii).

37 . The Second Book of the Annals, from 1208 to 1499.