Manuscripts

Armagh, Public Library, MS A

  • Early Modern English
  • 1660
  • Irish manuscripts
  • paper
Earliest extant copy of the Annals of Clonmacnoise.
Identifiers
Location
Shelfmark
A
Type
Irish annals
Provenance and related aspects
Language
Early Modern English
Date
1660
c. 1660
Origin, provenance
Origin: Ireland
Ireland
Provenance: Ireland
Ireland
ass. with Roderic O'FlahertyO'Flaherty (Roderic) / Ó Flaithbheartaigh (Ruaidhrí Óg) (1627/30–1716/18) – Roderic(k) O'Flaherty / Ruaidhrí (Óg) Ó Flaithbheartaigh, Irish nobleman, historian and collector of manuscripts; author of Ogygia seu rerum Hibernicarum chronologia (1685).
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Hands, scribes
The manuscript is written by a single copyist whose identity is unknown. Sarah Sanderlin (1982) distinguishes between several later hands which provided annotations such as notes, corrections, explanations and dates.
Hands indexed:
Hand of the copyist Anonymous copyist who wrote in or around 1660: a note at the end of the first section (f. 18v, bottom) records the date of 18 April 1660; another one on f. 63v (bottom) that of 15 May 1660. According to Sarah Sanderlin (1982), this scribe “appears to have understood both the Irish and the English of his exemplar [...] The writing of the marginals is in Irish (for Irish notes), English script (for English notes), and English printing (for Latin notes and some English words)”. Anonymous [scribe of Armagh, Public Library, MS A]Anonymous ... scribe of Armagh, Public Library, MS A
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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Annotator L1 An “old hand” in brown ink supplied some marginal notes and dates, for example on f. 24r. Sanderlin suggested these annotations may have preceded those of O'Flaherty. Annotations in this hand were copied into TCD MS 673 (dated to 1685).
Annotator L2 A more modern hand in black ink. Notes in this hand were copied into TCD MS 673 (dated to 1685).
Annotator L3 Hand in brown ink. Annotations in this hand are absent from the copy of TCD MS 673 (dated to 1685) and are likely to postdate that manuscript.
Annotator NB Later hand in faint grey ink. Annotations in this hand are absent from the copy of TCD MS 673 (dated to 1685) and are likely to postdate that manuscript.
Annotator RO The hand of a most active annotator who can be identified as Roderic O'Flaherty. Roderic O'FlahertyO'Flaherty (Roderic) / Ó Flaithbheartaigh (Ruaidhrí Óg) (1627/30–1716/18) – Roderic(k) O'Flaherty / Ruaidhrí (Óg) Ó Flaithbheartaigh, Irish nobleman, historian and collector of manuscripts; author of Ogygia seu rerum Hibernicarum chronologia (1685).
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Later hands
Roderic O'Flaherty
Later history
Later owners or keepers of the manuscript include Roderic O'Flaherty (d. c. 1718), who added various notes in the margins, and Walter Harris (d. 1761).
Codicological information
Material
paper
Dimensions
11.75 ″ × 7.5 ″
Foliation / Pagination
The following is based on the description and analysis by Sarah Sanderin (1982). The manuscript consists of three gatherings of bifolia that have been folded over. These gatherings can be said to be divided along historical breakpoints, the coming of St Patrick and the arrival of Strongbow, so that we now have: (1) a pre-Patrician section, (2) a post-Patrician one concluding with genealogies, and finally, (3) history from Strongbow onwards. Originally, the manuscript numbered 40 folia (20 bifolia).
  • Section 1 originally contained (a) two introductory, unnumbered folia, from which the title page is now wanting; and (b) 38 folia numbered 1-38. The final folia, ff. 36-38 (estimated to cover the history AD 779-840), were missing by 1756. A supplement was added from NLI, MS 767 to make up for this loss.
  • In the 18th century, 10 thicker folia were inserted between sections 1 and 2.
  • Section 2 originally contained 50 folia (25 bifolia), numbered ff. 39-88. Sometime after the supplement for section 1 was created, the opening folia, ff. 39-41, went missing, with only their stubs still visible, and their loss went uncompensated. It is estimated that they covered AD 840-904.
  • Section 3 contained 16 folia (8 bifolia), numbered ff. 89-104. No leaf appears to be lost except for f. 104, which only served as a patch for f. 103.
Distinct units
Armagh, Public Library, M…  Supplement

Supplement written in the first half of the 18th century by the second hand of NLI MS 767 to compensate for the loss of ff. 36-38 (AD 779-840). Before these folia went missing, NLI MS 767 was itself copied from the Armagh manuscript and had received annotations by two hands.

The list below has been collated from the table of contents, if available on this page,Progress in this area is being made piecemeal. Full and partial tables of contents are available for a small number of manuscripts. and incoming annotations for individual texts (again, if available).Whenever catalogue entries about texts are annotated with information about particular manuscript witnesses, these manuscripts can be queried for the texts that are linked to them.

Sources

Secondary sources (select)

Mc Carthy, Daniel P., The Irish annals: their genesis, evolution and history, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008.  
comments: Contents: Chronicles and annals: origins, compilation, taxonomy and nomenclature (p. 1); Witnesses to the annals: the primary manuscripts (18); Annalistic literature (61); World history in Insular chronicles (118); The Iona chronicle (153); The Moville and Clonmacnoise chronicles (168); Liber Cuanach and its descendants (198); The Armagh and Derry chronicles (223); The Connacht and Fermanagh chronicles (245); The Regnal-canon chronicles (271); Final compilation stages (304); Reliable annalistic chronology (342); Epilogue (355); Twelve centuries of Irish chronicling: from Bethlehem to Bundrowes (355); Necessity for a comprehensive analysis of chronicle features (357); Outstanding chronicle compilations (358); Manuscript witnesses to the annals (361); Survey of annalistic verse up to A.D. 1000 (364); The regnal-canon (368); Bibliography (375) and index (393).
53–56
Sanderlin, Sarah, “The manuscripts of the annals of Clonmacnois”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 81 C (1982): 111–123.
Dean, James, Catalogue of the manuscripts in the Public Library of Armagh, Dundalk: W. Tempest, 1928.
Armagh Public Library website – PDF: <link>
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Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
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