Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in Royal Irish Academy

23 P 24

Life of Red Hugh O'Donnell

17th cent. Paper. 7 1/4 X 5 1/2. Pp. 170 (excluding pp. inserted by the binder), foliated 1-85. Comparison with the MS. 23 N 28 shows that this ms. is the work of the same gifted scribe, Cuchoigriche (Peregrine) Ó Cléirigh. There is no sulscriptio on the ms. itself. The script varies somewhat in size throughout, cf. ff. 29, 30. The paper shows a watermark, consisting mainly of a vase with an S-shaped handle (see fo. 32), and another design resembling bunches of grapes, which occurs on paper used by scribe of 23 O 19 in early 17th cent. Though the paper is discoloured, the ms. is in fine condition, the writing being as legible to-day as when it was written. Fo. 1 has been remargined. The top outer corners of ff. 83 to end have been renewed, and fo. 85 (a mere fragment, the verso of which is blank) has been repaired. A hole burnt clean through fo. 74, sup. marg., and fresh ink-stains on ff. 1 v°, 2 r°, 4 r°, 69, 70 seem to be of recent origin. Pencil marks appear on the margins here and there, possibly in Edward O'Reilly's hand. For O'Reilly's transcript of this ms. see 23 P 9. A marginal note occurring fo. 31 r° (in ink) seems to be in an early hand different from that of scribe. Ff. 1, 2 r°, 12 v°, 13 r°, 24 v°, 25 r°, 36 v°, 37 r°, 48 v°, 49 r°, 59 v°, 60 r°, 73 v°, 74 r°, 85 v° would appear to have suffered from exposure to the air, since they are noticeably more discoloured than the rest of the ms. The work may have lain about in loose pieces for some considerable time before it was bound. On fo. 60 r° someone has inked in some of the letters. Bd. by MacKenzie (see below) in green morocco extra, gilt tooling, gilt edges.

On fo. 85 v° (originally left blank) occurs, in a late hand, "I promise to pay Patt. Clerk." This is evidently none other than the O'Clery who, according to O'Curry, Acad. Cat., p. 477, brought Cuchoigriche's books to Dublin in 1817. That Patrick was a direct descendant of our scribe is clear from the pedigree of his son John, the scribe of 12,13, 65, 66 above ("Sean Ó Cléirigh mac Padraicc mic Cosnamhaidh mic Cairbre mic Diarmada mic Cucoiccriche do éug 1664 mic Lughaidh mic Mic Con," 23 M 5, p. 247). Patrick lent this book to O'Reilly. By O'Reilly, in spite of O'Clery's protest, it was sold to W. M. Mason (O'Curry, Acad. Cat., p. 477). It figures as number 556 of the Monck Mason sale catalogue (1858), where the date 1620 is given as the approximate date of writing, and MacKenzie is mentioned as the binder. A ms. entry in the Academy's copy of this sale catalogue states "£21" to have been the sale price, and adds, "sold to Jones" (evidently the bookseller). O'Curry, MS. Materials, p. 22, note, claims that Todd was the purchaser at the Monck Mason sale (cf. note in autograph of Todd, Acad. Cat, 477 v°).


1. [Lughaidh Ó Cléirigh. Beatha Aodha Ruaidh Uí Dhomhnaill 1586-1602]. Beg. Ro tuismedh émh clann adhamhra d'Úa Dhomhnaill (Aodh maa Maghnusa mic Aodha Óicc mic Aodha Ruaidh mic Néill Ghairbh mic Toirrdhealbhaigh an Fhíona et cetera). The earliest known copy of the text.