LEABHAR GABHÁLA; CATH MAIGHE LÉNA; FÉLIRE OENGUSO
16th cent. Vellum. 50 pp. 25 × 17.5 cms. + 26 × 18 cms. with uneven margins throughout.
The pagination is modern. The manuscript is composite and consists of parts of two different manuscripts; the first part has nine leaves (pp. 1-18) and contains a fragment of the Leabhar Gabhála (pp. 1-4) and an imperfect copy of Cath Maighe Léna (pp. 5-18), the second, a slightly larger vellum, has sixteen leaves (pp. 19-50) and contains the Félire Oenguso (pp. 20-45). Each part is the work of several different scribes of whom only one is identified. He is the second of the two scribes of Cath Maighe Léna and signs himself at the foot of p. 12 Misse in Dualtach mac Semuis do graigh in beag sin luan nede 7 a Lecan mo locc. In his edition of Cath Maighe Léna, Med. and Mod. Ir. Series ix, Jackson says (p. xi): `... the scribe was one of the Mac Firbises of Lecan, as the names suggest. The pedigrees of the Mac Firbises in O'Donovan's "Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach" (see pp. 100 and 407) mention only one Dubhaltach son of Séamus; his father Séamas son of Diarmaid Caoch built the castle at Lecan in 1560, so that Dubhaltach would have been writing some time in the second half of the 16th century. He is no doubt that chief scribe of this protion of P' (i.e. the text of Cath Maighe Léna in this manuscript). The handwriting in the lower half of p. 11 may be that of still another scribe, although it ismore probably a slightly different of style of writing by Dubhaltach. The words luan nede in the above colophon should read luan inide and are translated `Monday before Shrovetide' by Walsh, Irish Book Lover, xxvi 106. The unidentified scribe of the fragment of the Leabhar Gabhála writes in a small neat hand.
The second part (pp. 19-50) was written by about six different hands; the main hand is that of the scribe of Félire Oenguso (pp. 20-45). The other five hands are: (1) p. 45.25 - end of page; (2) p. 46; (3) pp. 47-48; (4) p. 48 b 26-p. 49; (5) p. 50. A later (18th cent.?) scribe wrote the short tract on the hazels at the end of p. 50 a. Another 18th cent. (?) scribe wrote the extraneous material on the lower margins of pp. 30, 31, 40 (see under p. 20 below) and he may also have been the scribe of p. 19. Other late hands wrote the quatrains on pp. 29 upper margin, 38 lower margin and the marginal words on p. 3. Scribblings in the manuscript, most of which are now illegible, include ime breall- anpain<e>, p. 47 upper margin. It was possibly two 17th cent. owners who wrote the entries: (1) Domnick Cormack his hand and, p. 15 outer margin (2) 1654 4° Aprill Connor mac Bryen of Cuonagh <...>, p. 35 outer margin.
The manuscript is mainly in single column, the last five pages are, however, in double column; the capitals in the fragment of the Leabhar Gabhála (pp. 1-4) are rubricated; the remainder of the manuscript (with the exception of the last five pages) has ornamental capitals, the interlaced designs being mainly zoomorphic. The ruling is partly in brown and partly by dry point with occasional marginal prickings. The Leabhar Gabhála has 41 lines to the page and Cath Maighe Léna an average of 39 lines; the number of lines to the page in the second part varies between 32 and 48.
The first part of the ms. (pp. 1-18) has two gatherings, 1-12, 13-18, the second gathering consisting of the three single leaves, the conjugates of the first two leaves being represented by stubs. The last leaf (pp. 17-18 was wrongly inserted in its present position when the manuscript was bound, as the text shows it originally followed p. 12. Lacunae in the text of Cath Maighe Léna indicate the following loss of leaves: one leaf between pp. 8 and 9 (its conjugate in the gathering would have come between pp. 4 and 5 thus perhaps supplying some of the missing text os the Leabhar Gabhála), two leaves immediately before p. 13 and four or five leaves at the end of the text (i.e. following p. 16).
The second part of the manuscript (pp. 19-50) has two gatherings, 19-34, 35-50. It is not posible now to know how many leaves are missing from this part; lacunae occur, however, in the text of Félire Oenguso and in the last item (p.50b). To judge by the condition of p. 18, the last of the first part , and p. 19, the first of the second part, they were outer leaves for a considerable time before they were bound together. The condition of p. 1, which is now illegible, and p. 16, the last of the text of Cath Maighe Léna in the manuscript, also suggests such a position for them. The two parts of this manuscript appear to have been nos. 59 and 61 in a former collection (see pp. 1, 19).
It would appear that 4 or 5 cms. have been cut from the lower edges of p. 4 and its conjugate p. 9 leaving little or no margin (but without loss of text), as a result of which an entry written vertically on the outer margin of p. 9 has been cut. What remains of this entry reads slúagh na bhfeabhlén robdaoís ta [...] and the hand appears to be that of Uilliam na hEaghra whose signature and the date 1805 occur on the inner lower margin of p. 32. This manuscript therefore would seem to be one of the `certain important vellums' (amongst which is the Book of Fermoy) which at one time belonged to William Haliday, alias `William O Hara', for which see further Flower, BM iii 29-30 and the introductory remarks to G 45 (Cat. Irish Mss. in NLI, Fasc. ii 56).
Edward O Reilly acquired the manuscript sometime thereafter and it became no. 1 in his collection (see his Catalogue of Manuscripts RIA 23Hr). O'Reilly's book-stamp is pasted inside the front cover. The following entry in pencil on p. 50 upper margin bought 15 March 1831 by Cochrane is presumably a record of its purchase for the Phillipps collection where it became no. 10266.
The manuscript is bound in blue boards with a blank leaf after the front cover and one before the back cover. The front cover is now detached and the spine is in bad condition.
1. Lebor Gabála. Page 1 is entirely illegible except for the first word In which is in the form of a monogram extending down the whole of the page on the left-hand side, followed by pri in large characters. Page 2 begins et ní derna failti friu conadh aire sin tarbiset codlad fair = D v I rb17. Includes (p. 3) poem Athair caich coimsidh nimhe 58 qq. Breaks off with p. 4 risin mac mbec rugad = D v I 2rb23. Fragment of B version of the text (Van Hamel's Ba, for which see ZCP x 97-197; Thurneysen's B 1). This ms. was used by Macalister in his edition (from all mss.), Lebor Gabála Érenn, ITS xxxiv-xxxv, xxxix, xli, xliv.
5. Cath Maighe Léna. Beg. Imt[h]usa cloinde Dairine et cloinne Deirgthinedh et cloinde Luighdeach. Breaks off with p. 16 (see introductory remarks above for proper sequence of pages) cloidemh gorm da incc* gab ... tac ger <faopra ...> = ed. Jackson 1482. Headed In ainm Dé mhóir na ngrass so. This ms. was used by Jackson in his edition (from Franciscan MS. A.VI and other mss.), Cath Maighe Léna, Med. and Mod. Ir. Series ix. The lacunae in the present text have been noted by Jackson, op. cit. pp. x-xi (see also introductory remarks above).
The following scribal colophon occurs on the last line of p. 12: Misse in Dubaltach mac Semuis do graiph in beag sin Luan [I]nede 7 a Lecan mo locc.
19. Almost wholly illegible. For the probable scribe of this page see the introductory remarks above.
20. Félire Oenguso. Beg. (Prologue) Imrordus in rig[r]aid. The invocation Sen a Crist mo labra which is more usually prefixed to the prologue occurs here at the end (p. 22). Ends Imrordus in rigraid followed by A coic sescad ar tri cedaib cuirp in feliri fesin ... 7 coiccet insin uili. This ms. was used by Stokes for the second edition, Henry Bradshaw Society xxix. Owing to loss of leaves lacunae occur in the text between pp. 26 and 27, 34 and 35 corresponding to pp. 36 l.5-51, 82 l.5-236 l.2 respectively of Stokes' edition.
The following entries and quatrains in later hands occur on the upper and lower margins:
(1) p. 29 Cuirim eogh tre scing 1q. (Printed BM i 30).
(2) p. 30 Airim in cedprim co grinn | a ndiadh Muire na Coinneall | in Cedain 'na dheagaid sin | cuirim luaithre fam aigid | bisex mu*(?) o bisex bliadan ríagla nac[h] mealloid cleir.
(3) p. 31 Sin compóid eile ó Ó nDubhagain fhoillsighes in Inid .i. in dara ésga tic i ndíadh Epifainia d'fec[h]ain 7 da lá dair eisi ina dhiagh 7 in Domhnac[h] is nesa doibhsin in cedDomnac[h] don Chorghus.
(4) p. 38. An taodhsgh (?) an do tig | gibe crioch as ttanich | madh ait madh anait riot | ríair (?) anic is iodluic.
(5) p. 40 Do sgriobhus n-uimhir oí[r] gac[h] laé sa bliadain ir comhair rainn cach laé mar tá sa chló 7 adeir in cennuidhi o Phort Lairgi gurob í in compóideacht sin as fearr chum fhesa na Casc 7 na [I]nede d'fághbail 7 ni creidenn Ó Dubhagain dó.
45b. The three cries of the world. Beg. Tri gairi in domain .i. gair mac nIsrael = Lis. 147b32. Ends sin tri gairthe in domain.
45. M'aonuran imm aruclan 15 qq. Headed Comghall Beandchuir dixit. cc. .i. o Bendchur Ulad do bennaib na mbó do glecsat im in uaran. Ed. G. Murphy from G 7 and other mss., Early Irish Lyrics, No. 9. This copy (not used by Murphy) appears closely related to that in Franciscan MS. A. 9 (i.e. `A' in Murphy's edition).
46a. Apgitir Crábaid, entitled De uerbis Colmain maco Beonac .i. de uituis (sic) latentibus i[n] umbra bonorum operum. Beg. Is dual duit ni (vel mano written above) torgaothat na duailche. Ends bithbeathaidh for nim. 7 rl. Extract from the Berba Colmáin corresponding more or less to pars. 11, 4, 5, ed. Meyer, ZCP iii 447-455. For other extracts from same text see pp. 46b4, 48b, 49b below. This copy was not used by Meyer in his edition. The words Iesu Emanuel Christus are written on the upper margin of the column.
46a23. Proverbial sayings. Beg. Dan ecnaig dogni righ. Ends ni deraigh fri bais. This ms. was used by Roland M. Smith in his edition (from 23N27 and other mss.), The Senbriathra Fithail and Related Texts, RC xlv 89-90.
46a27. Anecdote of Secundinus, Patrick and Fiacc. Beg. Feacht naile luidh Seachnall do Ard Machae. Ends comfochraib báss dóu 7 rl = Mulchrone, Bethu Phátraic ll.2848-62.
46a43. On deserting God's commandments. Beg. Tabradh nec[h] dá uidh. Ends no a dibregóit.
46a47. The three ways a festival should be celebrated. Beg. O tri moghaib dlegar. Ends in Chumdheg 7 rl-.
46b4. Apgitir Crábaid. Beg. Cetheorai trepuire na mac mbethad. Ends ina fochraicce = first two lines of par. 22, ed. Meyer, ZCP iii 453. See p. 46a above.
46b6. The three ways of prayer. Beg. Tri muidh na hirnaidhthe. Ends tre nert n-irsi. Finit. Cf. Eg. 92, f. 17.
46b12. An Scuab a Fanait. Beg. Colum Cille dixit de scops .i. In scóp a Fanait cia ta gebhai. Ends in sondchath Sleiphe Fuáitt 7 rl. Prophecies of various saints (Colm Cille, Ailerán, Dacualín, Grellán, Fursa) regarding the plaque called the `Broom out of Fánad'. See Kenney, Sources for the Early History of Ireland 749-52. Cf. G 1, f. 45r for version contained in the late marginal note for Aug. 29 (Decollation of John the Baptist) in Félire Oengusa, ed. Stokes, Henry Bradshaw Society xxix 190-191.
47a. Homily on the deadly sins. Beg. Luxoria trat issed ainm in cetna duailchi mharbus anmain duine. Ends imcisiu Dé. Finit. Headed In nomine Patris 7 Fili 7 Spiritu Santi Amen. Ed. Meyer from Rawl. B. 512, ZCP iii 24-28. See Gwynn and Purton, Proc. RIA 29C117; Gwynn, Ériu vii 121, xii 245 (where Gwynn collated the present copy with his edition in Ériu vii); D. A. Binchy, Appendix to the Irish Penitentials, ed. L. Bieler, 1963.
48b. Apgitir Crábaid, entitled Incibiunt uerba Colmain fili Beognae uiri Dei (MS. uin dr). Beg. Sere Dé bí fonigh anmain. Ends dal fri demhnu. Corresponds more or less to 23P3, variant used by Meyer in his edition (from Harl. 5280 and other mss.), ZCP iii 447-55. See pp. 46a, 46b4 above for other extracts from same text. This copy was not used by Meyer in his edition.
49b. Prophecy attributed to St. Fursa. Beg. Mairg tairgebha an aimsir a mbia saerbriathra gin caingnimha. Ends i ndeoid an domun. Finit. See BM ii 312.
49b. Moral precepts. Beg. A tri ata maithiu do c[h]urp 7 anmain. Ends 7 almsain. Cf. Aipgitir Crábaid of Colmán, pars. 20, 27, 28 (Meyer's edition) of which appear here.
50a28. Explanations of some Biblical names (Moses, Israel etc.). Beg. Maisi .i. mai ainm d'uisci. Ends fine mic Eogain.
50a33. (in later hand). On the hazels of Segais. Beg. Nai cuill immorro na segsa sin torad do fuismed. Ends do Mac C<ui>lennain. Finit followed by scribal entry Becan<...g> fuarus ar leith ris fen an uraiceacht do M (?).
50b. Religious. Beginning very faded. Breaks off with p. 50b Ocus tarusair Iesu <... am ...>.