Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the National Library

G 113-114


18th cent. Paper. G 113, 84 pp. interleaved; G 114, 178 pp. interleaved. Leaves of ms 30.5 x 18.5 cms, interleaves 34x21 cms (watermark 1835).

Scribe: Uilliam Mac Cartain (Gulielmus Curtain), 1700-1703. (G 114 p. 138 line 3-9 is however in the hand of Eoghan Ó Caoimh [cf. G 117, pp. 178-87].) These two manuscripts formed a single acephalous volume when they were acquired by Phillipps. An older pagination 207-470, most of which is scribal, is continuous through the two mss. The missing portion at the beginning of these manuscripts is now RIA 23 H 18, a manuscript written by the same scribe in 1701-2, similar to the present manuscripts in paper and dimensions with a scribal pagination 5-206 (the first two leaves are lost). It has not been ascertained when the Academy volume was separated from the present manuscripts (but see further). A modern pencilled pagination which is separate for each of the two manuscripts has been adopted for this catalogue.

There are four items in G 114 by Séamus Mac Gearailt, two of which are signed and dated (p. 134, 1736; p. 143, 1740), a third dated only (p. 144, 1742); the fourth item is on p. 154. Mac Gearailt’s hand also occurs in the Academy fragment, p. 39 i (not noted in RIA Cat., p. 2144). The unidentified hand in the latter manuscript, p. 136, occurs in G 114, p. 169. The stanza on p. 170 of this latter manuscript is in the hand of Seamus Deacon who wrote his name and the stanza on p. 88 of the Academy manuscript in 1728. Additional material was inserted by Phillipps (at time of binding) at end of G 114; it consists of (a) bifolium watermarked 1821 written by Edward O'Reilly and now numbered pp. 175-8 and (b) bifolium and 2 single sheets, unpaginated and pasted on last end-paper, apparently written by Joseph Longan, with comments by Phillipps.

There is, however, a leaf in G 114 (pp. 141-2), written in a crude unidentified hand, which obviously did not form part of the original manuscript but whose existence there now can be explained from a later period when the three manuscripts, still forming a single volume, were in the possession of a 'Myles Coyle' in Mayo. The following note in the Academy manuscript, p. 191 (not given in full in RIA Cat.) shows the volume was acquired by Coyle in 1775: 'Sodh e labhar Mhuilmuire Mc Couiall do canaoibh lés ó an Tomás Mc Goibhaonn seagart poarasté Mhió san mblaogainn díos Criost 1775'. The following jottings in G 114, p. 142 were also written by Coyle: (a) '[. . .] 1775 Then recd, from John Moore Esqr Five pounds ...[...]', (b) 'Aprill 29th 1775 per Myles Coyle', (c) 'Whereas this day came before us Catren Walsh of Ballaughiowly in the' [Co. Mayo]. Coyle’s name appears also in the latter manuscript on p. 154.

Further evidence in the manuscripts showing their association with several people in Mayo, some prior to 1775, is: (a) the name 'Reverend Father Thomas Kelly' in the Academy manuscript, p. 162, is followed by 'at Mayo' (the latter statement not noted in RIA Cat.); (b) the following entries in three different unidentified hands in G 114: (i) 'I promise to pay James Merrick of Killglassan [par. of Mayo] or orders the sum of one thousand three hundred and forty eight pounds thirteen shill, and ten pence ster. value received the 14th 1754', p. 144.

'I promise to pay (? Brown) of Castle mc Garrett or order... ', p. 170.

This hand also wrote the names 'James Winston' and 'Barnaby Durken' and other jottings on p. 59.

(ii) 'I promise to pay unto Mr. Dan Coghlan Esqr one of his majesty’s Justis of the peace in the said county of Mayo (. . .) to wit (. . .) my hand the (. . .) of May 1770', pp. 144, 143 (frag.), 150 (frag.); 'I promise to pa[y] Ben and J 4768 16, etc., p. 134.

Other jottings in this hand on p. 154.

(iii) 'We or either of us jointly and will [. . .] promise to pay John Brown or [order] the sum of [. . .] pounds sterling for value recd this 20th of M[. . .] 17[. . .] County [. . .],' p. 154.

Further jottings mostly in G 114, include: 'Shan Oheelee', p. 28 'haamandemon', p. 126, a drawing of a 'turkey cock' p. 154, and some accounts here and there in both manuscripts.

A former owner of 23 H 18 and G 113-114 was Edward O’Reilly, in whose catalogue (RIA 23 H 1) they are numbered 182 and 183 respectively. (The present division of the latter into two volumes is due to Sir Thomas Phillipps; see below). The separation of 23 H 18 had evidently taken place before O’Reilly’s time, for although he describes no. 183 in his catalogue as being 'in the same writing as the foregoing number' he does not connect the two manuscripts with each other. O’Reilly transcribed several items from these manuscripts in BL Eg. 154 (see BM i 580-88). The occasional non-scribal numbering in dark ink in G 114 appears also to be in his hand.

The following lacunae occur in the manuscripts: G 113, one leaf missing following p. 30 (scribal 237-8); G 114, 2 leaves missing following p. 64 (scribal 356-9), one following p. 158 and one before p. 171. At the time of binding pp. 163-4 were misplaced and reversed, they should precede p. 159 and in the order pp. 164-3. G 114, in particular, is in a bad condition and considerable portions of the text are lost owing to worn edges and discoloura­tion, which condition drew the following comments from Phillipps in his Catalogue, no. 13826: 'Wm. Mac Curtain’s Copy of the Poems of Ossian, Vol. 2nd beginning at page 207 only. This 2nd Vol. is now divided into 2. Vol. 1 containing from p. 207, to 292. (In this Vol. one Cover of the old Book is bound in [at end of vol.], to shew the shameful neglect of the Irish in not properly binding their most valuable works, by which neglect it is probable that more of their books have been destroyed, than by their Civil Wars.) A copy of the above 2 Vols. pp. 207 to 472 was made by Joseph Langan for me'. This copy is now G 90; see above.

The manuscripts are bound (by Bretherton 1848) in red russian with marbled end-papers. G 113: 'Ossian’s Poems Transcribed by W. Mac Curtain 1703 Vol. 2. Part 1’ in gilt on spine. A former paper cover with the shelf-mark '183’ is bound inside front cover with the relevant excerpt from O’Reilly’s sale catalogue labelled on it and the following written on it: ‘183/813/828 3 vols 8/-/- 3/5/31', '13826 Ph', 'now to be bound in 2 Vols', 'Vol. 2 Part 1'. Phillips’s comment 'My belief is, that this is the 2nd half of the Volume from which MacPherson published his Poems of Ossian. Thos. Phillipps of Middle Hill 1850’ and 'Phillipps Ms 13826 vol. 1’ are on the verso of first end-paper; 'No 183' on p. 1 upp. marg. G 114: 'Ossian’s Poems Transcribed by William Mac Curtain A.D. 1703,/Michael O Clery’s Irish Vocabulary copied by Wm Mac Curtain A.D. 1702,/Prosodia Hibernice/Irish Poems/ Vol. 2 Part 2.' in gilt and ‘13826’ labelled on spine; 'Vol. 2 Part 2’ on verso of first end-paper, ‘13826 Ph' and 'Phillipps Ms 13826 Vol 2’ on verso of front blank page. The manuscripts are included in a section 'Ex bibl. Misc.' in Phillipps’s Catalogue.



1 OILEAMHUIN CHOINGULOINN ANN so. Beg. Cúchuloinn mac Súbháltaicc fá do mhaithibh Chlainne Rúghrí é. Ends (p. 15) amhuil bhús follus inár ndiaigh. Gonadh í sin Oileamhuin Choingculoinn. 'finis’.

15 i OÍGHIDH CHLAINNE HUISNEACH ANN so. Beg.Rígh uasal oirdheirc árdchomhachtach ró ghabh ceannas chóige ollbhládhach Ula dar badh cómhainm Conchúbhar mac Fachtna. Ends (p. 28) a ndeoigh an fheill sin.

28 i BÁS DHÉIRDRE ANN SO. Beg. Dála Dhéirdre dá ttángadar na gníomha sin [=FFÉ, ITS viii 3031]. Ends (p. 29 m) táinig bás Dhéirdre.

29 m Beg. Dála Fheargusa mic Rosa Ruadh, táinig arna mhárach déis mharbhtha Chlainne Uisneach. Ends (p. 30) budh liosda ré a luadh ann so. (Cf. ITS viii 2999-3030). ‘Deoruígheacht Fhear[g]usa’ occurs as running title on p. 30.

30 'Craobhsgaoileadh7 coimhneas chuid do churadhaibh na Craoibhe Ruadh ann so sul laibheóram ar thuille do ghníomhradhaibh Choingculoinn'. Cathfach mac Maoilchró na ccath. 6 qq.

30 i 'As ar shliocht an Chonaill Chearrna reamhráidhte so atá Mac Cartain Chúntae an Dúin a ccóige Ula. Ag so am dhiaigh a gheinealach;' following leaf lost.

31 OÍGHIDH CHONNLAOICH (running title pp. 34-9). Acephalous owing to loss of leaf. Beg. here leataoibh na gabhla mara, 7 dá chairrthe chloiche fan ngabhail. Ends (p. 39) do hadhlaiceadh a thaisi le Coingculoinn san áit ccéadna.

40 CÓMHRAG FHIR DIAIGH ET CHOINGCULOINN. Beg. Do bhádar cheithre hollchóige Éireann daonaonta a naghaidh chóige Ula. Ends (p. 57) with poem Cluithe gáire >cómhrag cháich. 3 qq. Foll, by 'Arna sgríobhadh lé hUilliam Mac Cartain an 15 lá déag do Fébris san mbliaghain daois Chríost 1703/2'.

57 BREISLEACH MHAGHA MURTHEIMHNE ANNSO SÍOS NO OÍGHIDH CHOINGCULOINN. Beg. Feacht naon dá ttángadar maithe na cóige Olltaíghe go hEamhain Mhacha. Ends (p. 83) sgéal go ngairge, gníomh go ngoirte. 'Finis’.

83 'Uilliam Mac Cartain cc. 28° die Aprilis 1703 a ccuímhnióghadh ghoile-j ghaisge an tréan mhíleadh .i. Cúchuloinn mac Súbhaltaicc’. An leógan a Cóige Ula leagach beárna. 5 stt. +1.