The well-documented story that four manuscripts were found during building work in the ruins of Bonamargy friary in or before 1822 is tested and found not to fit the assumptions that have been brought to it. The books could not have been old Franciscan books, hidden by the friars, and it is not even apparent that they were deliberately hidden. Other manuscripts now known have stories about their hiding or their discovery, and some are patently false, others become doubtful when probed, such that the idea of deliberate hiding of manuscripts is scarcely credible. The Book of Lismore was found, neglected, it appears, in Lismore castle. The Domnach Airgid was, apparently hidden as a relic and retrieved soon afterwards at the time of the Williamite war. The Book of Dimma was never hidden, and the manuscripts at Cong may have been lost long before the story told about them. The finding of the Stowe Missal in an old wall is a story not attested before Eugene O’Curry (1841), who had shortly before worked on the Book of Lismore. The Bonamargy books remain unexplained.