Manuscripts

Chatsworth (Derbyshire), Book of Lismore

  • Irish language
  • Latin language
  • s. xv
  • Irish manuscripts
  • compilation
  • vellum
Identifiers
Location
In private hands
Privately held.
Title

Book of Lismore, also The Book of Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach (Leabhar Mhic Cárthaigh Riabhaigh). 

Type
compilation
Provenance and related aspects
Language
Irish language; Latin language
Date
s. xv
15th century
Hands, scribes
Aonghus Ó CallanáinÓ Callanáin (Aonghus) (fl. 15th century) – Aonghus (Aonghas) Ó Callanáin, Irish scribe, responsible for writing parts of the Book of Lismore for his patron, Fínghin Mac Carthaigh Riabhach of Cairbre (Co. Cork). His transcriptions include texts of the Acallam bec and Suidiugud tellaig Temra.
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Ó Macháin (ISOS) distinguishes between the following scribes: (1) The main scribe (anonymous), who was responsible for the greater part of the manuscript; (2) Aonghus Ó Callanáin, responsible for the Acallam bec and other texts (ff. 132-134, 194-201); (3) The scribe (anonymous) of the poem on f. 158, ascribed to Mathghamhain Ó Dhálaigh, beg. Ni téd an égean a naisgidh; and (4) a number of assistants (“relief scribes”) working for the main scribe.
Hands indexed:
Scribe 1 (main) Anonymous, was responsible for the greater part of the manuscript.
Scribe 2 Aonghus Ó Callanáin, responsible for the Acallam bec and other texts (ff. 132-134, 194-201); on f. 134rb, states explicitly that he writes for Mhág Carthaig .i. Finghean mac Diarmada. Aonghus Ó CallanáinÓ Callanáin (Aonghus) (fl. 15th century) – Aonghus (Aonghas) Ó Callanáin, Irish scribe, responsible for writing parts of the Book of Lismore for his patron, Fínghin Mac Carthaigh Riabhach of Cairbre (Co. Cork). His transcriptions include texts of the Acallam bec and Suidiugud tellaig Temra.
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Scribe 3 The scribe (anonymous) of the poem on f. 158, ascribed to Mathghamhain Ó Dhálaigh, beg. Ni téd an égean a naisgidh
Scribe 4 First of “possibly four relief scribes employed by the main scribe”: ff. 41rb2-13, 53ra1-17, 56ra1-9, 61vb1-16.
Scribe 5 Second of “possibly four relief scribes employed by the main scribe”: ff. 87va1-31.
Scribe 6 Third of “possibly four relief scribes employed by the main scribe”: ff. 125rb21-37.
Scribe 7 Fourth of “possibly four relief scribes employed by the main scribe”: ff. 184ra15-32.
Patron
Fínghin Mac Carthaigh RiabhachMac Carthaigh Riabhach (Fínghin) (d. 1505) – Fínghin (Fínghin; Fínghean) Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach of Cairbre, head of the Cairbre branch of the Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach family; patron who commissioned the compilation of the Book of Lismore
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Caitlín [daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald]Caitlín ... daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald (d. 1506) – daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald (d. 1468), eighth earl of Desmond, and wife of Fínghin Mac Carthaigh Riabhach (d. 1505). She and her husband were credited as patrons of the Book of Lismore.
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Patrons appear to include Fínghin Mac Carthaigh Riabhach of Cairbre (Co. Cork) and his wife Caitlín, daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald, earl of Desmond. This is suggested by two explicit references to the Mac Carthaigh:
  • On f. 134rb, the second main scribe Aonghus Ó Callanáin explicitly states that he writes for Mhág Carthaig .i. Finghean mac Diarmada.
  • On f. 158, the third scribe adds his only contribution, namely a poem which is addressed to Fínghin and (in a later stanza) to Caitlín.
Nearer to the beginning (ff. 42ra, 49v, 53rb, 59ra), the main scribe adds four marginal notes dedicated to an unnamed couple (lánamhna). This has been taken to refer to Fínghin and Caitlín, but this remains uncertain. Ó Cuív posits the alternative possibility that the first part of the manuscript may have been commissioned by another married couple, such as Fínghin's parents.(1)n. 1 Brian Ó Cuív, ‘Observations on the Book of Lismore’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83 C (1983).
Later history
Discovered in Lismore Castle (Co. Waterford) in 1814 and re-assembled sometime after 1856.(2)n. 2 Brian Ó Cuív, ‘Observations on the Book of Lismore’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83 C (1983).
Codicological information
Material
vellum
Foliation / Pagination
198 folios
Palaeographical information
Layout
two columns, except e.g. on f. 116r and f. 158r

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 concerning 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

Notes

Brian Ó Cuív, ‘Observations on the Book of Lismore’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83 C (1983).
Brian Ó Cuív, ‘Observations on the Book of Lismore’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83 C (1983).

Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

Macalister, R. A. S., The Book of Mac Carthaigh Riabhach, otherwise the Book of Lismore, Facsimiles in Collotype of Irish Manuscripts 5, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1950. Facsimile edition, with introduction and indices.
Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <http://www.isos.dias.ie>.
Reproduction and summary description direct link

Secondary sources (select)

Ó Macháin, Pádraig, “Chatsworth, The Book of Lismore: summary description”, Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <https://www.isos.dias.ie/libraries/CHATSWORTH/TheBookOfLismore/english/index.html?ref=http://www.isos.dias.ie/english/whats_new.html>.
Ó Cuív, Brian, “Observations on the Book of Lismore”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 83 C (1983): 269–292.
Jstor: <link>
Ó Cuív, Brian, “A poem for Fínghin Mac Carthaigh Riabhach”, Celtica 15 (1983): 96–110.
Macalister, R. A. S., The Book of Mac Carthaigh Riabhach, otherwise the Book of Lismore, Facsimiles in Collotype of Irish Manuscripts 5, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1950. Facsimile edition, with introduction and indices.
Breatnach, Caoimhín, “Lismore, Book of”, in: Duffy, Seán [ed.], Medieval Ireland: an encyclopedia, New York and London: Routledge, 2005. 279–280.
Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], Lives of saints from the Book of Lismore, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series 5, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890.
CELT: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>

External links

CELT: extract from Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Medieval Irish books and texts. The final version was published in Clavis litterarum Hibernensium: medieval Irish books & texts (c.400–c.1600) (Brepols, 2017).
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
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