Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the National Library of Ireland

G 5 - 6

LIFE OF ST. FÉCHÍN; MAC CARTHAIGH'S BOOK; BOOK OF RIGHTS; ON THE AGES OF THE WORLD; SYNCHRONISMS

15th-16th cent. Vellum. G 5, 24ff.; G 6, 45ff., mainly 17.5 × 13 cms. except G 6 ff. 13-45 which is mainly 16.5 × 12.5 cms.

These two volumes are composed for fragments of three earlier compilations.

The first fragment, G 5 ff.1-8v, containing the Life of and Homily on St. Féchín is written by an unidentified 15th cent. scribe who supplied ornamental initials at the opening texts and rubricated most of the capitals on ff.2v-4v. There is no foliation other than the modern one. Details concerning Nicol og mac Aba Cunga, who translated the Life, and Ua Dubthaig, his amanuensis (see colophon f.5v) have not been ascertained. The date 1329 in the colophon may be that of the original translation, but it may also be a date at which a copy was made.

The present copy was in the possession of Charles O'Conor in the year 1731 when he inserted the colophon at the end of f.5v; he also wrote the marginal entry on f.14. O'Conor's hand does not, however, appear in any other part of G 5-6 which, as O'Conor was not slow in writing in the manuscripts which he owned or had on loan, might indicate that the other fragments did not pass through his hands. In an 18th cent. hand a certain Moylerus Henry wrote the following on the margins of ff.6,7:<...> breveant alia sub sante Latina | Produc in sequitur R fiet Nomina quanta (f.6); By it knowen unto all men by these, Si videbas furem curebas cu<m> eo et cum adolteris suis personas suam pane <...> (f.7).

G 6 ff.1-12 and G 5 ff.9-24 together form what remains of Mac Carthaigh's Book, annals of Munster in the medieval period (ed. with translation etc., Séamus Ó hInnse, Miscellaneous Irish Annals A.D. 1114-1437, Dublin, 1947). Ó hInnse in his edition says (p.vii): `These Annals are preserved in a small quarto volume, ... which had been sundered and its contents displaced when it was acquired in 1846 by Sir Thomas Phillipps from the bookseller, T. Thorpe. It was then in two parts or fasciculi, stitched between paper covers and numbered 639, 640 in Thorpe's Catalogue. These became inversely 9195, 9194 in the Phillipps Collection, now National Library of Ireland, Gaelic MSS., Nos. 5-6. The volume is by different scribes of the late fifteenth century. The leaves have been foliated by a late seventeenth-century hand, some of the numbers being now defaced and illegible. Our Annals, which are foliated 69-96 [MS. No. 6, fos. 1-12, MS. No. 5, fos. 9-24], were separated before the volume was split, as the verso of 88 [16] is stained - showing that it was an outer unprotected leaf at one period - and the recto of 95 [23] and the verso of 96 [24] are also discoloured. The Annals are acephalous, and a leaf following on fo.88 [16] which contained the annals for A.D. 1185-91, was missing before the foliation. Fos. 35-68, which probably also contained annals, are wanting.'

Except for the first thirteen lines on f.21r, written by a relieving hand, G 5 ff.9-24v is the work of one scribe (ff.19v-23r are rubricated) while G 6 ff.1-12v is that of another. The relieving hand also wrote the following across the lower margins of G 5 ff.9v, 10r: madh do dopach bidh dona | bidh gortach ar nodgabha | ar nodgabha nodgebha | (10r) anad mela a cein mara. | Two later hands inserted the quatrains in the margins of G 5 ff.11r, 14r and a contemporary book-hand wrote the entry on the upper margin of f.17r (see below under f.9). Other entries in the margins of these annals include: G 5 (17r) mise B; G 6 (1v) a sé Domhnall mac <...> 11 chai <...> priomhaire, (2V) <...> imigh mac Carrtaig, (12v) Cornellius Denny.

The third fragment, G 6 ff.13-45, is the work of about five unidentified 16th cent. scribes. The older foliation, 2-34, shows at least one leaf missing since the time of that foliation. The missing leaf contained the beginning of the Book of Rights which is acephalous here. The last text, synchronisms of the kings of the world with Irish Kings, ends (f.45v) imperfectly owing to loss of a leaf (f.35 of the older foliation). As the older foliation, 69-96, in the annals is by the same hand it appears that, with the exception of the Life of and Homily on St. Féchín (G 5 ff.1-8v) the two manuscripts, G 5 and G 6, are parts of what in the late

17th or early 18th cent. was a single manuscript of which ff.1, 35-68 are now lost. Whether this composite manuscript ended on f.96 (now G 5 f.24v) or not cannot now be ascertained.

The two probationes pennae on ff.13r, 23v upper margins would seem to indicate that this fragment (G 6 ff.13r-45v), as well as Mac Carthaigh's Book, was in the possession of members of the Mac Carthaigh family (see Ó hInnse, p.vii). The hand of Soerbhreathach (Mac Carthaigh?) in the first of these probationes pennae is not unlike that of the main scribe but the former is insufficient in quantity and faded in parts to permit a satisfactory comparison. The extraneous quatrain attributed to Mac Carthaigh Mór written by a later hand on f.14r lower margin, but now very faded, is perhaps a further indication of the association of the Mac Carthaigh family with this manuscript. See also below under Lebor na Cert, G 6 f.13r.

Extraneous entries include: (15r) mac Duach Galaig mic Briain mic Ethtech <...>; (19v) outer margin John July <...>; (31v) <... la hoig ... mac Eogainn mic Mathghamhna Coir ... la hEochaidh ...>; (32v) se Tomas Planccet gilla en buid beathraigh; (34r) misi m <...> moir Conncubar Connoccur o Mathgamna do scribh en bigan (the last two entries written by the same hand); (44v) Logh Neagh vocabatur Tuagh iad farran tempore Nectini et with a deep hole that burst forth it was made a logh and the marginal gloss mors Christi Tiberius Caesar Calligula Nero written by the same hand. The unidentified late hand that wrote the gloss 7 do marbh a mhac fein ar <...ac> cloindi caigh do mian meic Iob (?) dagail re marbad on f.43r lower margin is also responsible for occasional interlinear and marginal glosses and corrections on ff.38r-44v of the manuscript. The contemporary book-hand in G 5 f.17r upper margin appears here on f.21v upper margin giving the names of the sons of Cathaír Mór.

The hand of the older foliation may be that of Edward Lhuyd (see introductory remarks to G 4, also TCD H.5.20, a collection of papers in Lhuyd's autograph). If so, G 5-6 may have passed with the other Lhuyd manuscripts to Sebright and like G4 may have remained in the Sebright collection until its dispersal in 1807, passing then to Thorpe, while G 4 went to Heber.

The two volumes were already bound in their present paper covers when Phillipps acquired them. This is noted by him in his Catalogus where he writes of G 5 (Phillipps 9194) `marked No. 2a bound in a MS. map of the Mississippi. T.640.' The back cover of G 5 is wanting and the cover of G 6 is now loose. Phillipps was aware of the displacement of the contents of the two volumes, he stated in his Catalogus (Phillipps 9195) that `These two last seem to be two differnt part of two Works bound up intermixedly'.


The vellum in the two volumes is uneven in texture and naturally defective; it is also worn in places (e.g. G 6 f.13) and torn in others (e.g. G 5 ff.11, 13, G 6 f.24). The recto of G 6 f.13 is discoloured showing that it was an outer unprotected leaf at one time and there is much staining throughout but with only occasional loss of text. The ink has faded in several places. The composition of the gatherings is as follows: G 5 1-8, 9-16, 17-22, 23-24, G 6 1-12, 13-18, 19 (the conjugate of which is now lost, leaving a stub following f.12), 20-27, 28-37, 38-45. The gatherings show holes made by previous sewing and the remains of a previous cover are pasted on the inner margin of G 6 f.1. The ruling where visible is partly by dry point and partly in brown with marginal prickings. The number of lines to the page varies between 19 and 26.

The modern foliation in both manuscripts has been adopted for the purpose of this catalogue.

G 5

F.1. Life of St. Féchín of Fore. Beg. Fear aintech aíbhinn almsanac[h] brighmar broinntseng briatharchert. Headed bennacht for anam an tí ro sgribh. Ends banua iar fis.f. The following are the first lines of the poems contained in the text: (1v) Atc[h]onnairc Colum na cath 5qq., (2r) Mirbal maith uadha na naidin 6qq., (2v) Teora la do traisg isin ler 3qq., (3r) Tainig lá Silenius 6qq., (3v) Tainig Feic[h]in 'na thir fein 5qq., (5r) Cuinges Mochua 4qq., (5v) Fis a tsaogail tshéghainn tshegha 7qq. Ed. from this ms. with English translation, Whitley Stokes, RC xii 318-338. With the exception of the first lines, Stokes omitted the verse `as they merely repeat what has been already told in prose'. The following scribal colophon is written at the end of the text (f.5v): Nicol og mac aba Cunga do c[h]uir in bethasa Fechin as Laidin a nGaideilg 7 hua Dubthaig do gab 7 do sgrib 7 as í ais in Tigerna andiu 1329 7 rl. This is immediately followed by an entry in Charles O'Conor's hand et as a seilbh Chathail uí Chonc[h]ubhair ata in bheatha so Fechin anos an bliadain d'ais an Choimde 1731 agus athrugad mór sa tshaoghal on am ar scribad an bet[h]a so et níl fhios agom ann ar fheabhus e. O'Conor also wrote the note on the outer margin of f.4r: Blathmac mac Aedha Slainge d'ecc don Bhuide Conaill A.D. 606 and the word dara.

6r. Homily on St. Féchín. Beg. A uos fratres carisimi audiuimus plura de uir[tu]tibus sancti Fethini. Ends (imperfectly) og erghnam bid dia mac. The following are the first lines of the poems contained in this text: (6r) Ni chuinghim for righaib rogha cuibhrinn 611., A Bhaithin airis dún sunn 5qq., (8v) Ni coe comoil na buillte 1q. Ed. from this ms. with English translation, Whitley Stokes, RC xii 338-353.


9r. Mac Carthaigh's Book. Annals beg. [1163] Creach la Toirdealback O mBriain ar Diarmaid mac Cormaic tre Druim Finghin da rug moran bo leis. This section of the annals follows on G 6 f.12v; see below under G 6 f.1, introductory remarks above and ed. Séamus Ó hInnse, Miscellaneous Irish Annals (A.D. 1114-1437) vii. Ends here dar gabadh Muirc[h]eartach mac Briain Ballaig. (=ed. 1437 §14). The following is the first line of a quatrain written by a later hand on f.11r lower margin: Cu la a bhais da legthi leas (printed in full and translated in ed. Ó hInnse xii) and is followed by Diarmaid in Cassain ar scribhadh in rann bic sin a nDresenn. Et iairam ort a brathir beannacht do t[h]abairt air annam Diarmada. Another late hand wrote a quatrain on f.14r outer margin beg. Is friu shamhloim na daoine (printed in full and translated in ed. xii) and is followed by Sean qui scribsit (sic) in an apparently different hand in fainter ink. An entry beg. a mBaile Hi Molcaisil a Tuadmumain (printed in full and translated in ed. xii) occurs in a contemporary book-hand on the upper margin of f.17r.

G 6

1r. Mac Carthaigh's Book. Annals 1114-1437. Acephalous. Beg. [1114] eturra gan Diarmaid do chur chum Leithi Cuinn do gabhail 7 Toirdealbhach O Conc[h]ubhair do briseadh Leithe Moda. Ends here do t[h]eacht o Ath Cliath <...> (=ed. 1163 §2) and is continued in G 5, f.9r (see introductory remarks above). Ed. Séamus Ó hInnse with translation etc., Miscellaneous Irish Annals (A.D. 1114-1437), Fragment I 2-115.

13r. upper margin. The following probatio pennae: foir orm a Muire Soerbreathach ic fromad mo glesa dam; see introductory remarks above and ed. Ó hInnse, Miscellaneous Irish Annals vii.

13r. Lebor na Cert. Acephalous owing to loss of leaf. Beg. <mas> ail le ri Caisil braide (7 arraighl- added above the line) d[f]adbail o righ Raithleann. <Dlighidh ...> do braighdebh do t[h]abairt do re comhall 7 a n-athardhach do ghabh<...> bhuaidh gacha bliadna. ma maith le ri Raithleann fein é. Ends a sochar ni dlig. Ni dlig. Finit Amen. Ed. Myles Dillon from all MSS., Lebor na Cert, ITS xlvi. This copy contains the prose summaries only and two of the extraneous documents, the Testament of Cathaír Mór and St. Patrick's Blessing of the Irish. At the end of the section on Caisel the present copy, however, inserts a list of the kings of Munster, their regnal years and manner of their death headed (f.15r) Dona righaibh do ghabh Muma ann so sis o Chormac Cass 7 o Fiacha Muilleathan mac Eogain anuas beg. Modh Corb mac Cormaic Cais ending (17v) Cormac mac Muireadaig mic Carthaig mic Saerbrethaig ... (cf. RIA 23E26, 23N30, variants used by T. Ó Donnchadha in his edition of this text. An Lebhar Muimhneach, Aguisín III 399-408). This list is probably another instance where `a compiler has added ... a text which seemed to him appropriate' (Dillon, introd. xi). That this compilation was made in the interests of the Mac Carthaigh family is further borne out by the introduction (acephalous) to the first section here which appears to be a summary account of the rise to power of that family. The text proper begins f.13r15 (= Dillon l.142). A later hand, now somewhat faded, wrote the following quatrain on f.14r lower margin: 1565 (?) macarrti mor .cc. na rachaidh ollamh i Bhriain | na treig iath mac righ | Na guirthiur dut lorg rud sin agad <...>.

19v. Ochtar is ferr do cla[nn]mac ban | do neoch ro chin o Adamh 4 qq. Addressed to Fethal (q. 4 l.1) on the inevitability of Death and a warning against Pride.

23v. upper margin. The following probatio pennae: froma peind sunn ar barc Mec Carthaigh o Aodh; see introductory remarks above and ed. Ó hInnse, Miscellaneous Irish Annals vii.

23v20. Sex Aetates Mundi. Beg. An <ched> ais o Adhamh co dilind caega mac ag Adamh 7 Coidín a sinnsear. Ends O gein Crist go brath. An abridged copy of the tract corresponding generally to the Lecan version.

29r17. On the Colonisations of Ireland. Beg. Triur mac le Adamh or siladh Caym a sinnsear Sedh 7 Sile an dis ele. Ends conadh uadha Carnn mBaluir. This is followed (f.32r) by a list of the kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann, their regnal years and manner of their death beg. Bai Lugh .xl. bliadna a righi nErind ending a cath no a comlann.

32v4. Synchronisms of the kings of the world with Irish kings and events. Beg. Labheoraidh (the idh added above) Fingen becan and so do chomaimsearacht righti in domain 7 na hErind 7 ret egin da ngnimart[h]aibh mar is comaire fhedfus. Cf. BB 11a, Lec 186vb47. Breaks off with f.45v co nernmailt anno Domini with Marcus Antonius contemporary of Feidhlimidh Rechtmhar mac Tuathail Teachtmhair (=BB 13b8, Lec 189b18).