Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in Royal Irish Academy

D v 2

Legal: Tract on Ogams

14th (?) and 19th centt. The ms. consists of three sections: (a) vellum, 7 3/4 X 8 3/8 ; (5) paper, 12 3/8 X 7 1/2 ; (c) paper, 12f X 8. Thirteen vellum folios, numbered 64-66, 68, 70-75, 77-79 form section a (a consecutive pencilled foliation has been added which ignores the gaps due to the loss of the original ff. 69, 76 : there is no lacuna between ff. 66, 68). Bound in before ff. 66, 78, 79 are slips of vellum with sections of text. Fo. 72, of which the reverse is blank, is cut away in part, and appears, from the manner in which it is bound in with vellum thongs, not to have formed part of the ms. originally. The paper sections contain in all 30 written pp. on paper watermarked: (b) "Joseph Coles, 1802"; (c) "E & E 1804." The whole is interleaved with paper marked "1812." Section b is unnumbered; section c bears a pagination running 235-249, and is a transcript of B.M. Add. 4783. The initial capital on the vellum portion is of zoomorphic interlaced design. The smaller section capitals are of an unusual interlaced pattern, based on natural foliage, e.g., the acorn design on fo. 1 (64) v°. Fo. 7 (72) seems to depart from the general style of ornamentation, although the handwriting seems to be that of the scribe of the rest of text. Red, green, and yellow colour is used to wash in the capitals.

Bound in half-leather, blind-tooled, and gilt-lettered. Formerly in Stowe and Ashburnham Collections. Ashburnham Number 995 (see slip pasted to back of cover). Stowe Press No. 2/37 (see ibid., gilt lettering).

The following note occurs on the first flyleaf:—"When, Count Macartie's Library was sold at Paris I observed that the last article in it was only announced as 'an Irish Manuscript'—conceiving it likely to be curious as belonging to a literary Irish gentleman I ordered it to be purchased, & gave 5 or 6£ for it. This MSS. when examined by Dr. O'Connor proved to be a collection of the Brehon Laws of which so far as I am informed there is no other perfect copy known. I gave this MSS. to the Library at Stowe. Thomas Grenville 8 August 1835."



1 (64). [Lebar Aicle]. Beg. Locc don liubarsa Daire Lubran 7 aimser do aimser Domnaill mic Aeda mic Ainmireach 7 persa dó Cend Faela mac Ailella 7 tucait a denma a hincind dermait do bein a cenn Chind Faela i cath Maige Rath (= AL iii, p. 86). The section with which the printed text begins occurs later in our ms., fo. la 22. The version differs considerably from that of T.C.D., E. 3. 5, which is the basis of the printed edition. Our MS. was not available for collation by the editors of AL iii (see Introd., p. lxvi). There is no gap between ff. 3 (66), 4 (68) of the ms. Fo. 7 (72), written only on the recto, interrupts the order of the text. The copy breaks off fo. 13 (79) v° in the middle of a section with the words : cid inbleoghain isaer ar chinuigh n-inbleoghain cinco bet is Ian fiach. No bl- t. t. .i. in lucht robui (= ed., p. 288).


[1]. Note in Latin on the Irish Law tracts. Two written pages have been pasted together here.

[2]. Law tract dealing with precedence, headed "Aighneas do thabhairt tighearnuis do reir an Fheanacais do Shinsior."Beg. Ag so na hadhbhair far cora do A tighearnus do ghabhail ina do B ar an adhbhar gurob e A as sine agus as fearr do reir dhlighidh. An English version occupies the right-hand page of the ms., and at the foot of the page is given a glossary of difficult words, with references to authorities such as "MS. notes to O'Brien's Dictionary and the 2nd Vol. of the Annals of the Four Masters in Trinity College, Dublin, ad an. 1597." The text occupies 6 1/2 pp.


On an unnumbered flyleaf is a copy of an extract from a letter dated 1784 from the Chevalier O'Gorman to Mr. O'Conor, regarding certain Ogam inscriptions.

235. Fragment of a treatise on Ogams, purporting to derive from "Cod. Clarend. Musaei Brit. Tom XV., ex dono J. Milles in Catalogo Ayscough Vol. 1, p. 319, No. 4783 [see Flower, B.M. Cat., pp. 519-20, for description of the original, Add. 4783]. No. 1. Anonymi Hiberni tractatus de variis apud Hibernos veteres occultis scribendi formulis seu artificiis, Hibernice Ogum dictis in Perg. fol. 1." Acc. to our scribe: "This article is not accurately described, for it consists of more folios than one, ending at folio 3 of the MS., and evidently defective in the beginning, where some folios are missing." The text is a line for line, column for column transcript of B.M. Add. 4783, art. 1. The scribe judges the original ms. to be 10th or l1th century. Flower, loc. cit., judges it to be 15th cent. The treatise ends p. 249 with a note of Sir J. Ware's copied from the original.