CELT document G102003

The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells

 p.127

The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells

The following Irish deeds are printed from the splendid MS. of the Gospels called the Book of Kells, preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, which, there is every reason to believe, was executed in the time of St. Columbkille. It would be out of place here to attempt a description of this MS., or to put together the evidences of its antiquity. It must suffice to observe, that the existence of the following charters, which have been copied into it, is sufficient to connect it with the monastery of Kells; and that it was in existence there in the year 1006, and then regarded as one of the most splendid relics of the western world, will appear from the following entry in the Annals of Ulster, under that year:

Anno Domini Mº.uiº (alias 1007) Soiscelae Mor Coluim Cille do dubgait is ind aidhci as ind iardom iartharach in daim liac moir Cenannsa. Prim mind iarthair domain ar ai in comdaigh doendai. In soscela-sin do foghbail dia fichet adaig ar dib misaib iar ngait de a oir, ⁊ fot tairis.

Anno Domini 1006 (alias 1007) The great Gospel of Columb-kille was sacrilegiously stolen by night out of the western porticus of the great church of Kells. This was the chief relic of the western world on account of the singular cover. This Gospel was found in twenty nights and two months, with its gold stolen off, and a sod over it. 1

John O'Donovan, 1846.


Unknown author

Edited by John O'Donovan

The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells

 p.128

Carta de Bailli Uidrin cum Molendino et de Balle Comgain cum Molendino.2

Muinter cęnnansa ęrraid deoraid ro ędpair ard camma .i. baile ui uidrín co na muiliund ⁊ co na herund uili, ⁊ baile ui comgain cona hęrund uili ⁊ cona muiliund, do dia ⁊ do cholum cilli ⁊ dond epscop uí cellaig do sęnoir fer midi uili, ⁊ do maelmaire uí robartaig, do chind in disirt .i. hi teirt id. nouimir, la feili martain .i. in bliadhain at báthatar bai hęręnn ⁊ a mucca. Itteat inso na maithe ro ędpratar .i. Muiredach ua clucain abb cęnnansa conanign ua bręslęn in sacart guaęre ua clucain in fęrlęgind aęd mac mic ręchtacan in fosairchęnnęch fiad laichaibh mathib imdaib .i. i fiadnaise tigęrnán uí ruairc rig fęr breibne uile ⁊ gafraid ui regelluig (.i. ri macaire gailęng) ⁊ ade ui ęgra ⁊ fiad maccaib uí ruairc .i. donnchad ⁊ sittriucc ro ędparthea dan na da baile sęn .i. luigne connacht.

Disiurt cęnnannsa, do dęoradaib craibdęchaib do gres. Cipé tra laęch no clęręch ti in agid in cintisęa bid ęsconte hé o colum cille ⁊ fhinán, ⁊ óclęrchib hęręnn, óndh ęclais cristaide co coitchenn.

 p.130

II.

Ro edpair rí tęmhrach h. 2. maelsęchnaill mac conchobair hui mailshęchnaill, ocus commarbba coluim cille .h. 2. domnall mac robartaig con hulib sruithib cęnansa archęna ętęr sacart ocus ępscop ocus fęr ligęnn. ro ędpair dno cid in fosairchęnnęch .h. 2. cormacc mac ręchtocan com macclęrchib samtha coluim chille archęna, ro ędpairsęt didu na huli sin disiurt choluim chille hi cęnunnus cona lubgortán do dia ocus do deoradaib craidbęchaib do gręs cęn sheilb ndilis do nach ęrraid ann trea biuthu co ro chinne a bęthaid do dia ocus corop craidbęch.

Is iat imorra sláin ocus dilsi do rata ina dilsi in disirt sin, h. 2. sruithi cęnansa fadęn cona nabbaid, Ri mide h. 2. maelsęchnaill mac conchobair hui maelsęchnaill co rigraid ocus dęchdoinib mide ar chęna, Donnchad mac airdd huí ruairgg ri connacht ocus galęng, in garbanach hua corran co nocthigęrnaib galęng ar chęna, hi fiadnaisi rig casil na rig .h. 2. donnchada  p.132 meicc carthaich hui chellachain chasil rofonaisced dilsi in disirt sin.

Bęnnacht isu crist ocus choluim chille cos na huilib noebaib nime ocus talman for cęc noęn mórfas cadus ocus cháthaid na ędpartu sin. Mallacht imorra ocus mírad o dia cona noebaib forsin ti thicfa in agid cátad ocus chadussa na ędparta sin. Bendacht imorra dę bithbi co na hulib firęnaib for an rí ocus for an nabbaid ocus for an sammad ro dilsigsęt in disiurt sa do dia ocus dia chraidbęchaib. Oraid do mac maras tróg ro scrib soire ocus dilsi in disiurta sa do dia ocus dia chraidbęchaib.

III.

Ferand do rúagell saccart cęnandsa cona braęthrib .i. oa breslen cona braithrib .i. isse inso in fęrand .i. achad muine choscain cossin nachod mór ar a bélaib ocus cona lęnu ocus cona mónaí .i. corrice in lathaig riss anęs ocus cossin choélachod ris anair ocus cos sid aithlius ris anair co na lanntaib ocus frith lanntaib ocus co na aithche .i. cossin lathaig domnaig móir. Ocus is sé so in lóg, .i. xuiii. nungai co fuilledaib ailib .i. co fichet ungai iar dóthucht. Ocus ó ua riamán dęrgled, .i. a fęrand dílęs fęin. Ocus itęat so sís inna commairge ⁊ ina dílse do ratai and. Oęngus mac mic rancáin lántoísech síl tuathail ⁊ coile follomain, ocus gilla odor mac mic ruadacháin ocus cudub mac  p.134 mic comgain .i. o claínd ruadrach sęn, ocus cuduilig óa sneain co na braithrib ó claind murchada sęn, ocus oa gormán ó claind conaill, ocus tri micmęic cęrnaig, ocus da mac meic sherraig, ocus mac ui dubthaig doclaind chongalaig inna ndílsi foraib fen ⁊ for huíb riaman cossnaib uilib commairgib se reót ocus idiaid foraib fęn .i. for claind chongalaig {} ocus ęrchęnnech grellege ⁊ secnap ⁊ a bachall reódaide ⁊ erchęnnech cille scire ⁊ bachall scíre, ⁊ conall mac duib ocus iarnán .i. o shordus ule sen, ocus combarba coluim cille, .i. fęrdomnach oa clucáin co samud coluim cille ule, ocus oęngus oa domnallán in tanmcara  p.136 .i. commarba in dissert coluim cille, ocus ind ępscop óa dúnán .i. sęnoir leithe cuind, ocus rí temrach .i. domnall mac flaind huí maelshechnaill, ocus coss in cęthor comothec ass in cętharaird .i. gilla beccán mac cillai shechnaill, oa oędan airchęnnech gręncha, ocus ossin mac ectghail aistíre cęnnansa, ocus mac duibdaman airchęnnech ratha beccán, ocus óa fiachrach airchęnnech domnaig móir. Ocus is amlaid rogabta inna commairge se uile iar duidecht i timcell ind ęraind do lár ind ęrainnd. Ocus bęnnacht de fors naib commairgib se uile nára trécet a commairge, ocus ní raib enech na comairce ó dia occu dia trécet. ⁊ issamlaid atá in ferannsa acht ni rodlecht nach císs de ria luaig ⁊ ní dlegar iar na luaigh.

IV.

Do saire cille delga inso.

Fechtastánic Conchobor ua maelshechlaind do síthradaui aeda .i. riagilla coloim {} coaltan cenandsa co tarat comarba colaim cille (.i. maelmoire uauchtan) co na samud ⁊ co na minnaib {}  p.138 nocht chommairche friu, ⁊ conasragaib for a muin do altoir coluim cille ⁊ conasruc leis co les luigdech ⁊ co ros dall is in glind ri dún meic cennán a ndes. Conid i cinaid in tsháraigthe sein do rat conchobor ua maelsechlaind cill delga co na crích ⁊ co na ferund do dia ⁊ do colum cille co brath cen cis cen chobach cen fecht cen luaged cen choinnim ríg na toisig fuirri mar {} ba raeimi, ar ni laimed taisech a tadall etir céin ro bai i crich. Ocus a teat so inna commairche ⁊ inna slána do rata and .i. amalgaid comarba patraic co mbachaill ísu ⁊ comarba finnén ⁊ comarba ciarán cona minnaib ó cleirchib, ri imorra telcha airdd .i. oengus ua cainelbain, ⁊ ri telcha cail .i. maelisu mac coirthen, ⁊ ri maige lacha .i. gilla griguir ua dummaige, ⁊ ri tuath luigne .i. laidgnen mac maelan, o laecaib, ⁊ mor ingen meic conchobair ind rígan cen nach nathcor na commairce sen co brath. I fiadnaise fer mide eter laechu ⁊ cleirchiu do rata na slana sein ⁊ na commairche, ⁊ tucsat uile eter laechu ⁊ cleirchiu a mbennachtain do cach rig na  p.140 tairgad dar in saire sein co brath, ⁊ tucsat uile a mallachtain do cach rig do roised tairis sein. ⁊ gid guasacht do cach rí sarugud coluim cille is guasachtucha do rig ⁊ gid guasacht do cách rig is guasachtucha do rig temrach, uair is brathair hé do colum cille.

V.

Land ro chęnnaig congal ua bręstlęn .i. lęth laindęd męicc aęda cęrd .i. itęat irratha filęt inna dílsi aire fęin ⁊ ar cach duine archęna .i. comarba coluim chille .i. gilla adomnan ua coirthęn, ⁊ sacart cęnandsa .i. maelmártain ua bręstlęn ⁊ fęrlęgind cęnandsa .i. guaire ua clucain {} airchęnnęch thige oęigęd .i. oęngus mac gillaibain ⁊ cúmara macc mic duairc ua m{} anad mac oissin ⁊ in fosaircęnnęch .i. muiridach mac męic ręctacan ⁊ toisęch {} mac manchan ⁊ toisęch na scoloc .i. oęngus ua gamna. Ise inso log {} ocus fland mac meic aeda ⁊ unga fon dilsi {} airchęnnęch.

 p.142

VI.

Sochur arda bręcan ó rig ęręndh o muirchęrtach ua lochlaindh ⁊ o diarmait ua malshęchlaindh o rig midi ⁊ o rig loigaire o aęd mac conulad ua chaennulbán. Araile dochur ro boí o loígairib ar indh eclais .i. adaig coinnmęda cech raithi. ro aslaig ua lochlaind rig ęręnd ⁊ diarmait ua maelshechlaind rig mide ar ríg loegaire reic na haidche sin co bráth. ar tri hunghaib dór conid soęr din ó díb modaib ind eclas co na crích ⁊ co na fęrundh ar shaire coitchindh na nule neclas ⁊ ar in cendhaigecht sin conid scartha din ó na huilib modaib amlaid sin ard mhręcan fri  p.144 Loégairib. IS iat so slána in tshochuir sin ⁊ na soire, .i. gilla męicliac comarba patraic muirchęrtach rig ęręnd, diarmait mac domnaill męic murchaid rig mide étrú ua miadacan ęspcop mide, Congalach mac shęnan rig galęngh Imar ua cathasaig rig saitne, domnall ua braín rig luigne, maelruanaid ua ciarda rig cairpre, moélcrón mac gilli shechlaindh rig dęiscirt breg, murchad ua findhullan rig delbna, mac rónan ríg cairpre gabra, in ogshaire na hecailse co brath, can chomaithchęs  p.146 sligęd no caillęd acht a bith icoichęnd do muintir arda brecan amal bias do cach midiuch ar china.

VII.

Dorogill gilla crist mac manchan in ferand ar do láim shoscela ic dola sís ar ammus atha catán no ar do laim b {} ain anís ón áth ó maccaib beollain .i. o choin ulad ocos ó brathair maelciarain. ⁊ is é in log xxiiii. unga ficęt .i. dargut fritoeb legind mic coin ulad ? ITé na slána .i. moenach ua cinętha ęrcinnech atha daloarg ⁊ aed ua mailscire do shon. ⁊ scolaige ua labrat risogain. ⁊ is é in scolaige hísein rucastair fiach broit corcra alámaib mic  p.148 imair acabrithi inna fordilsi. Mael brig {} nan comarba cholaim cille ⁊ guare ua clucain in fer legind ⁊ sacart cęnannsa ⁊ da toisęch clebarta ocos dom {} oc muintir cęnannsa in n-ogdilsi in fhęręnd ar meic mic beolain ⁊ ar cech nune ar cęna no luadfęd in ferand. Ite {} o galengaib. Gille crist ua loiste co na chlaind ⁊ mac gillaibrigti mic athgidi o ua murthim ocos mac ui ar {} .i. o {} ⁊ mac danair o uaib Gelogan. ⁊ Dongal ua buachaillen ó claind cormaic, fiachraig imorra mac congail ęrcinnęch {} ua cinetha ęrcinnech imlig i slanigęcht ind fheraind cętna. Maelruanaid mac meic cinnaith ⁊ amlaib mac meic fiacrac {} ó u briuin. Ise imorro cricad ind eraind sin otá in sifóic anęs co tuascęrt lochain patruic fo tuaid. ęrrai in muilind umorro isé nos crícand dhonleith aile.

 p.129

Charter of Ballyheerin with its Mill, and Ballycowan with its Mill.

The family of Kells have granted for the support of pilgrims, 3 Ardcanna, 4 i.e. Baile Ui Uidhrin, 5 with its mill, and with all its land, and Baile Ui Chomhgain, 6 with all its land, and with its mill, to God, and to Columbkille, and to the Bishop o'Cellaigh, the senior of all the men of Meath, and to Maelmuire O'Robhartaigh, head of the Disert, 7 on the third isle of the Ides of November, the feast of Martin, in the year when the kine and swine of Ireland perished by a pestilence. Here are the chiefs who made this grant, namely, Muredhach O'Clucain, abbot of Kells; Conaing O'Breslen, the priest; Guaire O'Clucain, the lector; Aedh, the son of Mac Rechtogan, the vice-erenagh. In the presence of many distinguished laymen, (i.e.) in the presence of Tiernan O'Rourke, King of the men of all Breifny; 8 Godfrey O'Reilly, King of Machaire Gaileng, and Ade O'Hara; and in the presence of the sons of O'Rourke, Donnchadh, and Sitric, these two townlands, in Luighne, of Connaught, were granted.

The Disert of Kells 9 is granted to pious pilgrims for ever. Whatever layman or clergyman shall oppose this grant, he shall be accursed of Columbkille, and Finan, and the clergy of Ireland, and of the Christian Church in general.

 p.131

II.

The king of Tara has granted, 10 that is, Maelsechnaill, 11 son of Conchobhar 12 O'Maelsechnaill, and the comharba successor of Columbkille, that is, Domhnall Mac Robhartaigh, 13 with all the ecclesiastics of Kells, in like manner, both priest, and bishop, and professor; also the vice-erenagh has granted, that is, Cormac Mac Rechtogain, 14 with young clerics of the congregation of Columbkille in like manner; these have all granted for ever Disert-Columbkille in Kells, with its vegetable garden, to God and pious pilgrims; no pilgrim having any lawful possession in it at any time until he devotes his life to God, and is devout.

These are the guarantees and securities given for securing the grant of this Disert, viz. the clergy of Kells themselves, with their abbot; the King of Meath, that is, Maelsechnaill, the son of Conchobhar O'Maelsechnaill, with the kings and chieftains of Meath in like manner; Donnchadh, 15 the son of Art 16 O'Rourke, King of Connaught and Galeng, 17 the Garbhanach 18 O'Corran, 19 with the young lords of Galeng in like manner; in the presence of the King of Cashel of the Kings,  p.133 that is Donnchadh, the son of Carthach, descendant of Ceallachan of Cashel, this grant of Disert was confirmed.

The blessing of Jesus Christ and of Columbkille, with all the saints of heaven and earth, upon every one who shall increase the respect and veneration of this grant. But a curse and a misfortune from God and his saints upon the person who shall oppose the respect and veneration of this grant. The blessing of the living God and of all the just upon the king, the abbot, and the congregation who confirmed this Disert to God and his pious pilgrims. A prayer for Mac Maras Trogh, who wrote the freedom and the confirmation of this Disert to God and his pious pilgrims.

III.

Land which the priest of Kells and his kinsmen purchased, i.e. O'Breslan and his kinsmen. This is the land, viz. Achadh Muine Choscain, 20 with Achad mor 21 lying opposite to it, and with their meadows and bogs, i.e. as far as the lathach 22 to the south, and as far as Coel-Achach 23 to the east, and as far as Sidh Aithlius 24 to the east, with their houses and out-houses, and with its lawns, i.e. as far as the lathach of Domnach mor. 25 And this is the price, eighteen ounces of gold, with other additional considerations, i.e. to the value of twenty ounces. And from O'Riaman 26 it was purchased, it being his own lawful land. The following are the guarantees and sureties given in it, Oengus, 27 the son of Mac Rancan, 28 full chief of Sil-Tuathail and  p.135 Coill-Follamhain, 29 and Gilla-Odhar, 30 the son of Mac Ruadachan, 31 and Cu-dubh, 32 the son of Mac Comhgain; 33 these were of the Clann-Ruadach; 34 and Cu-duilig 35 O'Sneain 36 with his kinsmen, these were of the Clann-Murchadha; 37 and O'Gorman of the Clann-Conaill; 38 the three sons of Mac Cearnach, 39 and the two sons of Mac Searraigh, 40 and the son of O'Dubhthaigh, 41 of the Clann-Congalaigh, 42 as guarantees for themselves and for the O'Riamains, with all the guarantees already and hereafter mentioned for themselves, i.e. for the Clann-Congalaigh {} and the Erenagh of Grellach, 43 and the Sech-nabb 44 and the Crozier of Reodaidhe, 45 and the Erenagh of Cill Scire, 46 and the Crozier of Scire, and Conall Mac Duibh, and Iarnan, i.e. all these are of Sord, 47 and the  p.137 Comharba of Columbkille, Ferdomnach O'Clucain, 48 with all the congregation of Columbkille, and Oengus O'Domhnallain, 49 the Anmchara, 50 i.e. Comharba of Disert-Columbkille; and the Bishop O'Dunan, senior of Leth-Chuinn; 51 and the King of Tara, i.e. Domhnall, the son of Flann O'Maelsechnaill, and with the four strangers from the four cardinal points, i.e. Gilla-Becan, 52 Mac Gilla-Sechnaill, O'Oedhan, 53 Erenagh of Greanach, 54 and Oisin Mac Eachtghail 55 Ostiarius of Kells; and Mac Duibhdaman, 56 Erenagh of Rath-Beccan, 57 and O'Fiachrach, 58 Erenagh of Domhnach mor, 59 and these sureties were taken as they were passing around the land, and through the middle of the land, and the blessing of God upon all these sureties, so they do not violate their guarantee; and they shall not have defence or protection from God if they violate it. No rent is due of this land before its being purchased, or after its being purchased.

IV.

Of the Freedom of Cill Delga. 60

One time that Conchobhar O'Maelsechlainn came to a peaceful conference with the grandson of Aedh (i.e. Gilla Coluimb {} alumnus of Kells), so that the Comharba of Columbkille (i.e. Maelmuire O'Uchtain) with his congregation and reliques {} came to give them  p.139 protection. But he Conchobhar took him Gilla Columb on his back from the altar of Columbkille and carried him to Les-Luigdech, 61 and deprived him of sight in the valley which is to the south of Dun-mic-Cennan. 62 It was in atonement for this violation that Conchobhar O'Maelsechlainn gave Cill-Delga, with its territory and lands, to God and to Columbkille for ever, no king or chieftain having rent, tribute, hosting, coigny, or any other claim on it as {} before, for no chief durst touch it while staying in the territory. Now these were the sureties and guarantees given in it viz. Amalgaidh, Comharba of Patrick, with the staff of Jesus; 63 the Comharba of Finnen; 64 the Comharba of Ciaran 65 with his reliques, of the clergy; also the King of Telach-ardd, 66 Oengus O'Cainelbain; the King of Telach-Cail, 67 Mael-Isu Mac Cairthen; 68 the King of Magh-Lacha, 69 Gilla-Griguir O'Dummaig; 70 the King of Tuath Luighne, 71 Laignen Mac Moelain, 72 of the laity; and also Queen Mor, the daughter of the son of Conchobhar, without any revocation of this for ever. In the presence of the men of Meath, both clergy and laity, these sureties and guarantees were given; and they all, both laity and clergy, gave  p.141 their blessing to every king who should not violate this freedom for ever; and they all gave their curse to any king who should violate it; and though it is dangerous for every king to violate Columbkille, it is particularly dangerous for the King of Tara, for he is the relative of Columbkille. 73

V.

A house 74 was purchased by Congal O'Breslen, i.e. the half house of Mac Aedha Cerd. 75 These are the sureties for its perpetuity for themselves and for all men in like manner; viz. the Comharba of Columbkille, i.e. Gilla-Adomnan O'Coirthen; and the Priest of Kells, i.e. Maelmartin O'Breslen; and the Lector of Kells, i.e. Guaire O'Clucain {} ; the Erenagh of the hospital, 76 i.e. Oengus Mac Gillabain; 77 and Cumara, the son of Mac Duarc O'M{} Anad Mac Oisin 78 and the Fos-Erenagh, 79 i.e. Muiridhach, 80 the son of Mac Rechtacan; 81 and the Chief of {} Mac Manchan; 82 and the Chief of the Scologes, 83 i.e. Oengus O'Gamhna. 84 This is the price given to {} and Flann, the son of Mac Aedha, and an ounce of gold for the fee-simple {} the Erenagh.

 p.143

VI.

The freedom of Ard Breacain  85 granted by the King of Ireland, i.e. Muirchertach O'Lochlainn, and by Diarmaid O'Maelsechlainn, King of Meath, and by the King of Loeghaire, 86 Aedh, 87 the son of Cu Uladh 88 O'Caenulbhain. The Loegrians 89 had a certain tribute of the church, viz. one night's Coinmhe90 every quarter of a year. O'Lochlainn, King of Ireland, and Diarmaid O'Maelsechlain, King of Meath, induced the King of Loeghaire to sell this night's coinmhe for ever, for three ounces of gold. The church, therefore, with its territory and lands, is free, for two reasons, viz. on account of the general freedom of all churches, and on account of this purchase. And Ard Brecain is thus by all means separated from the Loegrians. These are the guarantees  p.145 of this freedom and liberty, viz. Gilla-Mac-Liag, the comharba of Patrick; Muirchertach, King of Ireland; Diarmaid, the son of Domhnall, son of Murchadh, King of Meath; Etru O'Miadhachain, Bishop of Meath; Congalach Mac Senain, King of Galeng; Imar O'Cathasaigh, 91 King of Saithne; 92 Domhnall O'Breen, King of Luighne; 93 Malroney O'Ciardha, 94 King of Cairbre; 95 Moelchron Mac Gillisechlainn, King of South Bregia; 96 Murchadh O'Finnullan, 97 King of Dealbhna; Mac Ronan, King of Cairbre-Gabhra 98 for the perfect freedom of the  p.147 church for ever, without liberty of roads or woods, but to be common to the family of Ardbreacan, as to every Meathian in like manner.

VII.

Gillachrist Mac Manchain purchased the land on your gospel hand going down towards Ath-catan, 99 or on your benediction hand up from the ford, from the sons of Beollan, 100 i.e. from Cu-Uladh 101 and his brother Mael Ciarain. 102 The price was twenty-four ounces of silver, besides the tuition of Cu-Uladh's son. These were the sureties, viz. Moenach O'Cinetha, 103 Erenagh of Ath-da-loarg; 104 and Aedh O'Maelscire 105 for him; and Scolaighe O'Labhrath, 106 King of Soghan, 107 and it was that Scolaighe who gave the price of a crimson mantle into or out  p.149 of ? Mac Imar 108 for its perpetuity. Maelbrigit O Cianan, 109 Comharba of Columbkille: and Guaire O'Clucain, the reader, and the priest of Kells, and Da{} chief of Clebarta and Dom{} are guarantees to the family of Kells for the perfect Right of the land from the sons of Mac Beollain and every other person in like manner, who should claim the land. These {} of the Galengs viz. Gillachrist O'Loiste 110 with his sons; and the son of Gilla Brighde Mac Athgidi  111 O'Ciretha, 112 Erenagh of Imleach, 113 in guarantee of the same land. Maelruanaidh, 114 the son of Mac Ceneth 115 and Amlaibh, 116 the son of Mac Fiachraig 117 {} of the Hy-Briuin. 118 The boundary of this land is from the Siofoic 119 at the south to the north of Lochan-Patruic 120 northwards. The end of the mill is what bounds it at the other side. 121

 p.150

Observations on the foregoing Charters.

The foregoing Charters are of a date some centuries later than that of the Book of Kells itself, in which they are found; and it will be necessary to distinguish between the date of the Charters, i.e. of the contracts to which they relate, and of the copies now extant in the Book of Kells, which were probably transcribed from the original deeds into this sacred and venerable book in order to secure their preservation. The ink has in many places so faded that several words are illegible; and this appears to have been the case even in the time of Ussher, who had faithful transcripts of the first six of them made into a paper book, now preserved amongst his manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (E. 3. 8.) These transcripts, although not always accurate, have preserved some words which have since been destroyed by the bookbinder.

That the hand-writing of these documents, as they are now found in the Book of Kells, is not coeval with the persons whose names are mentioned in them, is evident from the fact that they appear to have been transcribed, at the same time, whereas it is quite obvious that Nos. 2 and 4 are at least half a century older than No. 1. The period at which they were transcribed into this book may be conjectured from the character of the writing and the contractions, which would appear to belong to the latter part of the twelfth century; but the dates of the deeds themselves can be pretty accurately fixed, from the notices of the deaths of the parties concerned, which are recorded in the Irish Annals, and will be given in the following remarks.

These Charters are exceedingly interesting to the historian, as proving that the ancient Irish had committed their covenants to writing in their own language before the Anglo-Norman invasion;  p.151 and that their chiefs, though not succeeding according to the law of primogeniture, claimed the right of binding their successors to covenants lawfully made by them—a right which Shane O'Neill and others called in question in the sixteenth century.

The other extant Charters made in Ireland at the same period are very few indeed, and are all in the Latin language. They are 1. The Charter of the foundation of the Abbey of Newry, granted about the year 1160, by Muirchertach or Mauritius Mac Loughlin, monarch of Ireland, by consent of his nobles. 122 2. The Charter of the foundation of the Cisterician abbey of Rossglass, Monastereven, by O'Dempsey, about the year 1178. 123 3. The Charter of foundation of the Augustinian monastery of Ferns by Dermot Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, previously to his having invited the English to invade Ireland, that is, about the year 1161. 124 4. The foundation Charter of the Priory of All Saints on Hoggin Green in 1166. 125

How early the ancient Irish began to commit their contracts and convenants to writing has not yet been determined, nor indeed made a subject of inquiry by any one qualified to arrive at just conclusions. If we may credit the compiler of the Book of Ballymote, Cathaoir Mor, monarch of Ireland, who died in the year of Christ 128, made a long last will and testament, which this compiler has transcribed, and which would puzzle any lawyer in Christendom to  p.152 explain. We have also copies of the testamentary precepts of Moran Mac Main, who was chief Brehon to the Irish monarch Feradach the Just, in the first century. But without insisting on the authenticity of these predictions, we may clearly infer from some entries in the Book of Armagh that deeds of contract and even of sale of lands were committed to writing from the earliest ages of Christianity in Ireland. It is more than probable that hundreds of such deeds were preserved in the Irish monasteries, but it must be confessed that very few of them are now known to our antiquarians, if indeed they have survived the ravages of time.

No. 1—Page 128

The Irish annals do not record the exact date of the 'perishing of the kine and swine of Ireland by a pestilence' within the century to which the Charter must be referred; but from the records in those Annals of the deaths of the persons mentioned in the Charter, it is certain that it must have been executed before A.D. 1140, in which year the death of Bishop O'Ceallaigh or O'Kelly is recorded by the Four Masters in the following words:

'A.D. 1140. Eochaid O'Kelly, head of the men of Meath, the most venerable bishop in all Ireland, died at an advanced age at Durrow Columbkille.'

See also Harris, in his edition of Ware's Bishops, says:

'Eochaid O'Kelly, Archbishop of the men of Meath, is mentioned in the anonymous Annals to have died in the year 1140.' 126

The next named in this document of whom any notice is preserved in the Irish annals is Muredhach O'Clucain, Abbot of Kells, whose death is entered in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 1154. The periods of some of the more distinguished lay chieftains  p.153 mentioned can also be well ascertained, as that of Tiernan O'Rourke, 'King of the men of all Breifny.' This is the celebrated O'Rourke whose wife eloped with Dermot Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, in the year 1152, an event which is supposed to have been the original cause of the English invasion. This Tiernan makes his first appearance in Irish history in the year 1128, when he insulted and assaulted Celsus, Archbishop of Armagh, and killed some of his clergy, from which period forward he figures as one of the most conspicuous of the Irish chieftains till the year 1172, when he is slain on the hill of Tlachtgha, near Athboy, by Griffin, a nephew of Maurice Fitzgerald.

The next chief is Godfrey or Geoffrey O'Reilly. According to the Annals of the Four Masters he was banished into Connaught in the year 1154 by Murchertach O'Loughlin or Mac Loughlin, King of the north of Ireland, and was slain at Kells in the year 1161, by Melaghlin O'Rourke.

From these dates we may safely conclude that this document cannot be older than the year 1128, nor later than 1140, in which the venerable Bishop O'Kelly died.

No. 2—Page 139

The date of this Charter may be pretty accurately fixed from the notices of the more distinguished persons therein mentioned, preserved by the Irish annalists. The death of Maelsechnaill or Maelseachlainn, the son of Conchobar O'Maelseachnaill, King of Tara, is entered in the Annals of the Four Masters, at the year 1087, as follows:

'A.D. 1087. Maelseachlainn, son of Conchobhar O'Maelseachlainn, King of Tara, was killed in treachery and guile by Cathal Mac Muiricen and the men of Teffia, at Ardagh of the Bishop Mel.'

 p.154

Domhnall Mac Robhartaigh, the Comharba or successor of St. Columbkille at Kells, died, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, in the year 1098. His name occurs in the inscription on the celebrated relic called the Cathach of St. Columbkille, now deposited in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy.

Donnchadh, the son of Art O'Rourke, King of Connaught, mentioned as one of the guarantees and securities of the grant to which this deed relates, was killed, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, in the battle of Moin Cruinneoige, on the 4th of the Calends of November, in the year 1084. The O'Briens carried away his head in truimph to Limerick, but it was recovered in 1088 by Donnell Mac Loughlin, King of Aileach.

Donnchadh, the son of Carthach, 'King of Cashel of the Kings,' and descendant of Callaghan-Cashel, was the brother of Muireadhach, the ancestor of the Mac Carthys. He is called King of Cashel in the interpolated Dublin copy of the Annals of Innisfallen, in which it is stated that he was slain by Callaghan O'Callaghan in the year 1092; but in the Annals of the Four Masters, which mention his death at the same year, he is called King of Eoghanacht Chaisil. The relationship of this Donnchadh to Callaghan O'Callaghan, by whom he was slain, will appear from the following table: See accompanying pdf.

 p.155

It follows, therefore, that the year 1084 is the latest date that can be assigned to the Charter before us.

No. 3—Page 132

The date of this Charter is fixed to the latter part of the eleventh century by our knowledge of the obits of three of the persons mentioned in it, namely, O'Clucain, Comharba of Kells; the Bishop O'Dunan; and Donnell, the son of Flann, King of Tara. According to the Annals of Ulster and the Four Masters, Ferdomhnach O'Clucain, Comharba of Kells, died in the year 1114. The death of Maelmuire O'Dunan, archbishop, is entered in the Annals of Ulster, the Annals of the Four Masters, and the interpolated copy of the Annals of Innisfallen, at the year 1117; but they differ as to the name of his see. The Four Masters call him Archbishop of Munster, and the Annals of Innisfallen Archbishop of Ireland. The old translation of the Annals of Ulster makes mention of two prelates of this name who died in 1117, namely 'Maolmure O'Dunan, chief Bishop of the Irish, and head of Ireland, clergy and laitye, for almes', &; and 'Maolmure O'Dunan, Archbishop of Munster.' In Mageoghegan's translation of the Annals of Clonmacnoise, at the year 1100, where an account is given of a synod held that year at Cashel, he is called 'O'Downan, arch Bushopp and Elder of Ireland.' In Harris's edition of Ware's Bishops, p. 467, 'Miler or Melmury O'Dunan, Archbishop of Cashel, is said to have died at Clonard, on the 24th of December, 1118, in the 77th year of his age.' And again, in the list of the Bishops of Meath, p. 140, 'Idunan, called Bishop of Meath, is said to have flourished in 1096.' The fact would appear to be that there was but one O'Dunan, and that he was Bishop of Meath, and that 'head of the clergy of Ireland for almes,' has been understood as meaning archbishop, when, in reality, it means nothing more  p.156 than 'the most charitable bishop.' Were he Bishop or Archbishop of Cashel he would not be styled Senior of Leth Cuinn in this document, but of Leth Mhoga; the former being the ancient name for the norther, and the latter for the southern half of Ireland.

According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, and the Four Masters, Domhnall or Donnell, the son of Flann, King of Tara, mentioned in this deed, was King of Meath, and was deposed and slain by his own people in the year 1094. It must, therefore, follow, that this document was drawn up sometime previous to that year.

No. 4—Page 136

Nothing remains to determine the age of this document but the name of Amhalgaidh, Comharba of Patrick, who became Archbishop of Armagh in the year 1021, and died in 1050. There were many Kings of Meath of the O'Melaghlin family named Conchobar or conor, the son of Domhnall, who is mentioned in the Annals of Ulster, of Clonmacnoise and of the Four Masters, as having blinded his brother Flann in the year 1037.

The death of a Maelmuire O h-Uchtain, Comharba of Kells, is entered in the Annals of the Four Masters at tthe year 1008, but the person referred to in this document must have been a later namesake of his who flourished in or after the year 1021, when Amhalgaidh became Comharba or successor of St. Patrick. But of this second Maelmuire the Irish annalists have preserved no notice.

No. 5—Page 140

The names of the sureties mentioned in this deed do not occur in the Irish annals, but the date of the document may be inferred from that of No. 7, where it appears that Guaire O'Clucain, the  p.157 Lector of Kells, was contemporary with the son of Imar III., King of the Danes of Dublin.

No. 6—Page 142

The date of this document can be fixed to about the middle of the twelfth century by the notices of the more illustrious persons therein mentioned, namely, Muirchertach O'Loughlin; Dermot O'Melaghlin; Gilla-mac-Liag, Comharba of St. Patrick; and Edru O'Miadhachain, Bishop of Meath.

[1] Muirchertach O'Loughlin was monarch of Ireland 'without opposition,' in the year 1161, about which time he granted a Charter to the monastery of Newry. He was slain in the year 1166.

[2] Dermot O'Melaghlin was contemporary with the monarch Muirchertach O'Loughlin, and survived him several years. He was appointed King of Meath in the year 1157 by the Synod of Mellifont, in the place of his brother Donnchadh, who was excommunicated by the same Synod.

[3] Gilla-mac-Liag, or Gelasius, Comharba of Patrick, was Archbishop of Armagh. He succeeded in the year 1137, and died in 1174.

[4] Edru O'Miadhachain, Bishop of Meath, succeeded in 1150, and died in 1173 or 1174. He assisted at the Synod of Kells in 1152.

From these historical notices it is evident that this document cannot be older than the year 1157, when Dermot O'Melaghlin became King of Meath, nor more modern than 1174, when Archbishop Gilla-mac-Liag, or Gelasius, died.

No. 7—Page 147

The date of this document may probably be fixed by the close of the eleventh century, if Maelbrigit O Cenan be mentioned in it, which  p.158 is certainly doubtful, for the word is almost illegible, and the letters máelbrig {} nan are all that can with certainty be read. He was killed, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, in 1117. The son of Imar, with whom Scully O'Lavery, one of the sureties, was contemporary, was probably Sitric, son of Imar or Ifars, third King of the Danes of Dublin, who flourished about the year 1050.

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Title (uniform): The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells

Editor: John O'Donovan

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translated by: John O'Donovan

Electronic edition compiled by: Benjamin Hazard

Funded by: University College, Cork and The HEA via the LDT Project.

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2. Second draft.

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of the Department of History, University College, Cork

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Date: 2006

Date: 2008

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  • Dublin, Trinity College Library, A. I. 6.; MS. 58 (Book of Kells).

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‘The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells’ (1846). In: The Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society‍ 1. Ed. by John O’Donovan, pp. 127–158.

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@article{G102003,
  editor 	 = {John O'Donovan},
  title 	 = {The Irish Charters in the Book of Kells},
  journal 	 = {The Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society},
  number 	 = {1},
  address 	 = {Dublin},
  publisher 	 = {Irish Archaeological Society},
  date 	 = {1846},
  pages 	 = {127–158}
}

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Creation: transcribed by clerical scribes from earlier deeds 1150-1200

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  1. This passage is also given in the Annals of the Four Masters, at the year 1006, and a translation of it by Colgan will be found in his Trias Thaumaturga. See Petrie's Essay The Round Towers of Ireland, p. 436. 🢀

  2. The Latin is written in a hand, probably of the sixteenth century. 🢀

  3. irraid deoraid, wandering exiles or pilgrims. The transcriber has here obviously left out the particle do, which according to the strict rules of grammar, should be prefixed to irraid🢀

  4. This seems to be a general name for a division of land comprising the sub-denominations of Baile Ui Uidhrin and Baile Ui Chomhgain. 🢀

  5. i. e. O'Heerin's town. According to the analogy by which Irish names became anglicised, this would be named Ballyheerin, or Ballyeerin. 🢀

  6. Baile Ui Chomhgain would be anglicised, Ballycowan, or Ballycowgan. The name is now obsolete. 🢀

  7. This word, which is translated desertus locus in Cormac's Glossary, and desertum by Colgan (Acta Sanctorum, p. 579), is sometimes used in ancient Irish manuscripts to denote a hermitage, or an asylum for pilgrims or penitents. It occurs in this latter sense in the Leabhar Breac, fol. 100, a. a., and in the Book of Leinster, in the MS Library of Trinity College, Dublin, H. 2. 18, fol. 113, b. a. 🢀

  8. All Breifny comprised the present counties of Leitrim and Cavan. 🢀

  9. This paragraph appears to describe the contents of No. 2, but it is in the same hand-writing as No. 1, and seemingly in continuation of it, although written on the lower margin of the opposite page in the MS. 🢀

  10. Or offered, ro edpair. This verb is obsolete in the modern Irish language, unless iodhbair may be considered a form of it. The Latin verb offero i.e. obfero, and its derivatives, bear some analogy with it, the Latin fer and the Irish beir being obvious cognates, and the ob and ed being prefixes. 🢀

  11. i.e. the servant or devotee of St. Sechnall or Secundius, the patron saint of Domhnach Sechnaill, now Dunshaughlin, in Meath. See Ussher's Primordia, p. 826, and Lanigan's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, vol. i. p. 271. The name is usually anglicised Melaghlin, and latterly Malachy. The surname of O'Maelsechnaill was taken by the descendants of Maelsechnaill or Maelsechlainn, monarch of Ireland (who died in the year 1022), who were the heads of the southern Hy-Nial race; it is usually anglicised O'Melaughlyn or O'Melaghlin, in Anglo-Irish documents previous to the reign of Queen Anne, since which period it has been changed to Mac Loughlin, by an unaccountable whim of custom. 🢀

  12. Usually anglicised Conogher, Cnogher, or Crohoor, in old Anglo-Irish documents, and now Conor. It is also often latinized Cornelius. 🢀

  13. This name is anglicised Magroarty, in the county of Donegal, where there are still many persons of the name, and evidently of this race. The head of the family dwelt at Ballymagroarty, near the town of Donegal. He was keeper of the celebrated relic called the Cathach, of St. Columbkille. See the Ulster Inquisition of 1609, and Archdall's Monasticon, at Baile mic Rabhartaigh, p. 95. 🢀

  14. Now anglicised Raghtigan, and in some places Rattigan. The name is still extant in Meath. 🢀

  15. Now anglicised Denis; but it is usually made Donough in Anglo-Irish documents of the sixteenth century. It is latinized Dionysius and Donatus. 🢀

  16. Now anglicised Arthur. 🢀

  17. A territory of considerable extent in Meath. The name is still preserved in the barony of Mor-Gallion, i.e. Galeng mor. 🢀

  18. This name, which would be pronounced Garvanagh, and means rough-faced, is now obsolete as the proper name of a man. 🢀

  19. Now anglicised Corran, without the prefix O. 🢀

  20. i.e. the field of Coscan's hill or shrubbery. This name, which would be anglicised Aghamoney-cosquin, is now obsolete. It was evidently near Donaghmore in Meath. 🢀

  21. i.e. the great field, would be anglicised Aghamore, but the name is obsolete. 🢀

  22. i.e. the slogh or quagmire. 🢀

  23. i.e. narrow field, now obsolete. 🢀

  24. i.e. the fairy-mount of Aithlis, or ford, or fort; would be anglicised Shee-Ahlis, but is now obsolete. 🢀

  25. i.e. Dominica magna, now Donaghmore, a parish and townland, with the ruins of an old church and round tower, situated to the north-east of the town of Navan, in the county of Meath. All the lands above were probably in this parish. 🢀

  26. This name is obsolete. 🢀

  27. Also written Aengus, and, in modern orthography, Aonghus. It is anglicised Angus and Aeneas. 🢀

  28. Now Rankin. 🢀

  29. The position of Coill Follamhain, which was the name of a woody district, may be determined from a note in the Felire, or Festigolium of Aengus at 14th September, which places it in the church of Roseach, now Russagh, near Rathowen, in the barony of Maygoish, and county of Westmeath. 🢀

  30. i.e. the pale youth, would be pronounced Gilly-ower, but is now obsolete as the proper name of a man. 🢀

  31. Anglicised Mac Roughan, and latterly shortened to Roughan, Rowan, and Rouen. 🢀

  32. i.e. canis-niger, is now obsolete as the proper name of a man. 🢀

  33. Anglicised Mac Cowgan. 🢀

  34. The situation of this clan has not been determined. 🢀

  35. canis-avidus, is now obsolete. 🢀

  36. This surname, which often occurs in the Irish annals, seems obsolete. The Editor has not met the name, or any possible form of it, in any part of Ireland. 🢀

  37. Anglicised Clann-Murrough. The situation of the tribe is unknown to the Editor. 🢀

  38. Situation unknown. 🢀

  39. Anglicised Mac Kearney or Mac Carney. This name is now usually written Kearney, without any prefix. 🢀

  40. Anglicised Mac Sherry, and latterly Sherry. 🢀

  41. Now anglicised Duffy in Leinster, Dowey in Ulster, and Duhig in Munster. The O is never prefixed to this name in modern times. 🢀

  42. Anglice Clann-Connolly. This tribe was seated near Tara, in Meath. 🢀

  43. Now called in Irish Greille, and anglicised Girley by metathesis. It is the name of a parish lying a short distance to the south of Kells. 🢀

  44. i.e. the vice-abbot. 🢀

  45. This saint is still vividly remembered in the parish of Girley, near Kells, of which he is still regarded as the patron, but his name is now shortened to Raed. In the Irish Calendar of the o'Clery's he is set down as St. Rodhaighe of Greallach-buna, at 16th of December, thus: 'Dec. 16. Naomh Rodaighe ó Greallach buna, mac Failbhe, mic Ronain, do sliocht Neill Nóighiallaig.' 'Dec. 16. St. Rodhaighe of Greallach-buna, the son of Failbhe, son of Ronan, of the race of Niall of the Nine Hostages.' The Editor could learn nothing of the crozier of this saint in the parish of Girley. 🢀

  46. Now Kilskeer, a parish lying to the north-west of Kells, where the virgin Scire is still remembered as the patron saint, and where a holy well retains her name. Her name appears in the Irish Calendar under 'Nono Calend: Aprilis, Scire, virgin of Kilskeer in Meath.' Colgan agrees with the Calendar, where he writes: Hujus virginis festum celebratur in Ecclesia ab ipsa denominata in occidentali regione Mediae 24 Martii juxta S. Aengussium, Mart Tamhlachtense, et Calend. Casselense in quo et ejus genealogia sic refertur: S. Schirra de Kill Schire in Mediâ, filia Eugenii, filia Canannani, fil. Alildi, fil. Fergusii, fil. Eochadii Moimedonii, et eodem etiam modo Sanctilog. gen. & Aenguss. Auct. ejus tradunt genealogiam.' Acta SS., p. 337, n. 31. 🢀

  47. This word is very obscure in the original. Sord or Sordus, as it is now locally called in Irish, is the Irish name of Swords, a village in the county of Dublin, where there was a celebrated abbey dedicated to St. Columbkille. 🢀

  48. This family name is now obsolete in Meath. 🢀

  49. Would be anglicised Angus or Aeneas O'Donnellan. 🢀

  50. Literally, friend of the soul. This word is used by the Irish annalists in the sense of spiritual director. It is translated confessarius by Colgan in Trias Thaumaturga, p. 294, A.D. 749; and Ard-anmchara is rendered in the same work, p. 298, col. 2, by “Archisynedrus, seu praecipuus confessarius”🢀

  51. i.e. Conn's half, i.e. the northern half of Ireland. 🢀

  52. i.e. the servant of St. Becan. 🢀

  53. Would be anglicised O'Heaun, but the name is now obsolete. 🢀

  54. Now Granagh, in the barony of Rathoath, county of Meath. 🢀

  55. Would be anglicised Mac Aughteel, but the name is obsolete. 🢀

  56. Obsolete. 🢀

  57. i.e. the fort of St. Beccan, now Rathbeggan, a parish in the barony of Rathoath in the county of Meath. This church is not mentioned in the Feilire Aenguis, or in the Irish Calendar of the O'Clerys. There was a St. Beccan of Imleach Fia in the district of Fera Cul in Bregia, whose name appears in these Calendars at 5th April. The name Rath-Beccan is now Rathbeggan. 🢀

  58. Now obsolete, or perhaps altered to Feary. 🢀

  59. Now Donoghmore, near Navan, in Meath. 🢀

  60. Now Kildalkey, a parish situated to the west of the town of Trim, in the barony of Lune or Luighne, and county of Meath, where the festival of the celebrated virgin St Damhnat or Dymphna is still celebrated on the 15th of May. 🢀

  61. i.e. Lughaidh's fort: name obsolete. 🢀

  62. i.e. fort of the son of Cennan. 🢀

  63. i.e. the Archbishop of Armagh. For some account of 'the Staff of Jesus,' see the Book of Obits of Christ Church, Introd. p. viii-xx. 🢀

  64. i.e. the Abbot of Clonard. 🢀

  65. i.e. the Abbot of Clonmacnoise. 🢀

  66. Now Tullyard, a townland in the barony of Upper Navan, about two miles to the north-east of Trim. This name, which was evidently that of a Ballybetagh or large ancient Irish townland, containing the seat of O'Coinnealbhain, originally embraced many of the modern denominations of land adjacent to the present townland of Tullyard, and among others that called Steepletown, in which stood a round tower, called in the Irish Annals Cloicthech Telcha aird. The family of O'Coinnealbhain, now Quinlan, are still extant in Meath, but not possessed of any portion of their original territory of Iveleary. O'Coinnealbhain was the lineal representative of Laeghaire, the last pagan monarch of Ireland, and the senior of the southern Hy-Niall race, though by no means the most powerful of them. It appears from various authorities that his territory comprised the baronies of Upper and Lower Navan. The hill of Tlachtga, near Athboy, is described in the Dinnsenchus as in O'Coindelbhain's territory. 🢀

  67. i.e. the slender hill. This name is now unknown. 🢀

  68. Would be pronounced Mac Carhen, but the name is obsolete. 🢀

  69. This is probably the parish of Moylagh in the barony of for, in the north-west of the county of East Meath. 🢀

  70. Obsolete. 🢀

  71. i.e. the territory of Luighne. The name of this territory is still preserved in Lune, called in Irish Luighne, a barony in the west of the county of East Meath; but it would appear from some ancient references to it that the ancient Luighne was more extensive than the modern barony. 🢀

  72. This name would be anglicised Lynan Mac Moylan. The surname Moylan is extant in Meath, but without any prefix. Mac Mullen is common in the south of Ireland, but they are not of this race. 🢀

  73. St. Columbkille was descended from Conall Gulban, the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages; and of O'Melaghlin, King of Meath or Tara, from Conall Creamhthainne, another of the sons of King Niall. The clause within brackets in the Irish is a repetition evidently unnecessary. 🢀

  74. Land.—In Irish this word is used to denote a repository, and sometimes a house. It is used by the Welsh to denote a church; see Colgan, Acta SS., p. 150, n. 24, and p. 328, n. 10; and sometimes used in the same sense by the Irish, as in Lann-Elo, now Lynally, near Tullamore, in the King's County (See Ussher Primordia, p. 960), in Lann-abhaic, now Glennavey, in the county of Antrim; Lann-Beachaire, in Fingal. See Lanigan's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, vol. iii. p. 85. See also Annals of Tighernach, at the years 625, 741, 745, where mention is made of Lana Cluana airthir, evidently meaning the church of Cluain airthir🢀

  75. i.e. Mac Aedha the artificer or worker in brass, silver or gold. 🢀

  76. Thige Oiigid, literally means house of the guests. 🢀

  77. This name is anglicised Mac Kilwane by the Irish, and Mac Ilwain by the Scotch. 🢀

  78. Anglicised Mac Cushen, it is to be distinguished from the name Cúisín or Cushin, which is that of a family of English origin, who settled in Connaught in the thirteenth century. 🢀

  79. i.e. the Vice-Erenagh, a person deputed by the Erenagh to act in his place. 🢀

  80. This name is more usually written Muireadhach. It is anglicised Murray. 🢀

  81. Now Raghtigan or Rattigan. 🢀

  82. Would now be anglicised Mac Monahan. This name is to be distinguished from O'Manchain, which is that now anglicised Monahan without either prefix. 🢀

  83. i.e. the farmers. 🢀

  84. This name is very common in most parts of Ireland, and anglicised Gaffney. There was a family of the name in the townland of Glenmore, in the barony of Ida and county of Kilkenny, remarkable for gigantic stature, as well as for courage, activity, and strength. In some parts of Ireland the name is translated Cauffield, from an idea that gamhain means a calf, which, indeed, it does; but this does not warrant the translation into Cauffield. 🢀

  85. i.e. Brecan's height or hill, now Ardbraccan, the seat of the Bishop of Meath, two miles west of Navan. There was a monastery erected here by St. Ultan, who died in the year 656, but St. Brecan had previously erected a church or hermitage here, and given name to the place. St. Brecan afterwards retired to the great island of Aran, in the bay of Galway, where he established a famous monastery. See O'Flaherty's Account of Iar-Connaught, printed for the Irish Archaeological Society, p. 75. 🢀

  86. This territory, which was otherwise called Ui Loeghaire, and which comprised the baronies of Upper and Lower Navan, was possessed by the O'Coinnelbhains or O'Kennellans, now Quinlans, the descendants of the Irish monarch Loeghaire, the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. This family is of a different race from the O'Connellains or Conallans of the county of Roscommon, and from the O'Cionghiollains or Connellans, who are now numerous in the county of Sligo, as well as from the O'Caoinliobhains or Quinlivans of Munster. The pedigree of the Cu-Uladh mentioned in this document is given as follows in Book of Lecan, and in the genealogical work compiled by Duald Mac Firbis: Cu-Uladh, son of Cu-Uladh, son of Aengus, son of Domhnall, son of Gilla-Ultain, son of Aengus, son of Candealbhan or Kennellan, the progenitor from whom this family derived their surname O'Kennellan, son of Maelchron, son of Domhnall, son of Cinaeth, son of Curoi, son of Aengus, son of Feradach, son of Maelduin Dergeinigh, son of Colman, son of Aedh, son of Liber, son of Daillen, son of Enda, son of Loeghaire, monarch of Ireland at St. Patrick's arrival, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. This family was dispossessed by the de Lacies shortly after the English invasion. The last notice of them occurs in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 1160. The head of the family in the reign of Queen Elizabeth was Becan O'Kennelan or Kindellan, of Ballynakill, in East Meath, who died on the 10th March, 1560. He was succeeded by his son, Edward Kindellan, who died in 1635, and was succeeded by his eldest son Becan, who died in the next year, leaving Edward Kindellan his son and heir, then eleven years old. See Meath Inquisitions. 🢀

  87. Now generally anglicised Hugh. It has been latinized Aidus, Odo, and Hugo, and translated ignis by Colgan. Trias Thaum., p. 176, n. 72. 🢀

  88. Translated Canis Ultoniae in the Annals of Ulster. It is anglicised Cowley by Mageoghegan in his translation of the Annals of Clonmacnoise, and Cooley by Fynes Moryson and other English writers of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 🢀

  89. i.e. the race of Loeghaire, monarch of Ireland. 🢀

  90. This word, which signifies feast or refection, is anglicised Coigny by English writers. See Spenser's Review of the State of Ireland, (Dubl., pp. 52, 53), and Harris's Ware's Antiq., p. 77. 🢀

  91. This name would now be anglicised Ivor O'Casey. 🢀

  92. The Saithne or O'Caseys are descended from Glasradh, the second son of Cormac Gaileng, son of Teige, son of Kian, son of Oilioll Olum, King of Munster, and settled here under the monarch Cormac Mac Airt, in the third century. See O'Flaherty's Ogygia, part iii. c. 69. Giraldus Cambrensis states in his Hibernia Expugnata, lib ii. c. 24, that Philippus Wigorniensis seized on the lands of Ocathesie, to the King's use, though Hugh de Lacy had formerly sold them. 'Inter ipsa igitur operum suorum initialia, terras, quas Hugo de Lacy alienauerat, terram videlic. Ocathesi et alias quam plures ad regiam mensam cum omni solicitudine revocavit.' 🢀

  93. Now Luibhne, or Lune. See note, p. 139. 🢀

  94. Now anglicised Keary, and sometimes incorrectly Carey. 🢀

  95. The territory of Cairbre Ui Chiardha was co-extensive with the present barony of Carbury in the north-west of the county of Kildare. After the subjugation of the O'Ciardhas their country became the possession of a branch of the Berminghams. Conell Mageoghegan, in his translation of the Annals of Clonmacnoise (made in 1627), ad. ann. 1076, says, that Carbrey O'Kiergie was in his own time called 'Bremyngham's country'. See Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, p. 475. 🢀

  96. Now the district lying to the north of the river Liffey, comprising the barony of Dunboyne and other districts. 🢀

  97. O'Finnellan was chief of Delvin, in the county of Westmeath. This family was dispossessed by Sir Hugh de Lacy, and their property transferred to the Nugents. 🢀

  98. This was a territory in the north of the present county of Longford, comprising the mountainous district now called Sliabh Chairbre, otherwise the Carn Mountains. Lanigan in his Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, vol. ii. p. 100, is puzzled to distinguish the territories of Carbury in Meath from each other; and Duald Mac Firbis falls into an error in placing Cairbre Ua g-Ciardha in Conmhaicne Maighe Rein, i.e. Mac Rannall's country, in the county of Leitrim. See his Genealogical work (Marquis of Drogheda's copy, p. 217). But the exact situation of Cairbre-Gabhra and Cairbre-O'g-Ciardha can be easily determined from the topographical poems of O'Dugan and O'Heerin, in which O'Ciardha is placed in Leinster, south of the Eiscir Riada, and O'Ronan, Chief of Cairbre Gabhra, in the ancient Meath. See Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, p. 276, note g, and p. 475. The fact is that Cairbre-O'g-Ciardha is the present barony of Carbury in the county of Kildare, and Cairbre-Gabhra is the present barony of Granard in the county of Longford, where the sons of Cairbre, the son of Niall, were seated in St. Patrick's time, to whom they granted a beautiful place called Granard. See O'Flaherty's Ogygia, part iii. c. 85. The following entry in the Annals of Connaught, at the year 1420, will shew that the castle of Granard was in the territory of Cairbre Gabhra: 'Caislen Granaird i Cairpre Gabrai do gabháil for h-Uilliam Hua Fergail do Gallaib. Gaill do tréccadh an caisléin iar sein, ⁊ Uilliam dá brisead ar oman Gall.' 'The castle of Granard, in Cairpre Gabrai, was taken from William O'Farrell by the English. The English afterwards abandoned the castle, and William demolished it from fear of the English.' The mountainous parts of this barony still retain the name Cairbre, and the vivid traditions in the country respecting the curse pronounced by St. Patrick on the territory, where he was treated with indignity by the incredulous Cairbre, the monarch's brother, shew clearly that the district about Granard was originally called Cairbre. This is further corroborated by the account of the Attacottic tribes in Ireland in the second century, preserved in the Book of Lecan, and transcribed by Duald Mac Firbis into his genealogical work, in which it is stated that a tribe called Tuath-Glasraighe had been seated in Cairbre and in the adjoining districts around Lough Sheelin, until they were dispossessed by Tuathal Teachtmhar. It has already been stated that the mountainous portion of the barony of Granard still retains the name of the territory, and that the highest elevations of the district are called the Carn mountains; and it may be worth while to add here that, according to the Dinnsenchus, the carns from which this name has been derived were called Carn-Fubuidhe and Carn-Maine, which are described as on the summits of Sliabh Chairbre. After the O'Farrells had extended their power over the whole of North Teffia, they divided the territory of Cairbre-Gabhra into two parts, of which the northern or mountainous portion was called Sliabh Chairbre, and the southern or more level portion Clann-Seeain or race of Shane, or John, from the sept of the O'Farrells who possessed it. For a list of the townlands comprised in the district of Sliabh Chairbre, or, as it is anglicised, Slewcarberie, see Inquisition taken at Ardagh on the 4th day of April, in the tenth year of the reign of James I. 🢀

  99. Would be anglicised Acatan. 🢀

  100. The name is now made Boland. 🢀

  101. This name is translated Canis Ultoniae, i.e. or Ulster Dog, anglicised Cowley and Cooley. Amongst the ancient Irish Dog was a designation of honour; to call a hero a Dog was as high a compliment as it would be to call him a lion at the present day. Accordingly we find in honour amongst them such names as Cu Midhe, dog of Meath; Cu Mumhan, dog of Munster; Cu Connacht, dog of Connacht; Cu Bladhma, dog of Slieve Bloom; Cu Caisil, dog of Cashel; Cu Sleibhe, dog of the mountain; Cu Maighe, dog of the plain, &c. &c. 🢀

  102. i.e. servant of St. Kieran. The name is now anglicised Mulkieran and Mulherin. 🢀

  103. Now anglicised Kenny, without the O. 🢀

  104. This is the old Irish name of the site where the abbey of Boyle, in the county of Roscommon, was founded in 1161. See the Irish Calendar of the O'Clery's, at 1st December, from which it appears that before the erection of the great abbey there had been an old Irish church at Ath-da-laarg, at which the memory of the holy Bishop Mac Cainne was venerated on that day.  🢀

  105. would be anglicised Hugh O'Mulskeery, but the name is obsolete or disguised. 🢀

  106. Would be anglicised Scully O'Lavery or O'Lowry, both of which names are still common. The word Scolaighe signifies a scholar or schoolmaster. 🢀

  107. More usually written Sodan. There were three districts of this name in Ireland, of which the most celebrated was in Hy-Many, in Connaught, for the extent of which see Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, pp 72, 87, 89, 90, 91, 130, 164. The second was in Meath, and the name is supposed to be preserved in that of the parish of Siddan, anciently Sodan, in the barony of slane. The third was in the territory of Fernmhagh, now the barony of Farney, in the county of Monaghan. The Soghan referred to in this document is evidently in Meath. 🢀

  108. i.e. the son of Ivor or Ifars III., King of the Danes of Dublin, who flourished about the year 1050. 🢀

  109. If this name be correctly deciphered (for it is very obscure in the MS.) it is the name of an abbot of Kells who was killed A.D. 1117. See the Annals of the Four Masters, in anno🢀

  110. Would be anglicised Gilchreest O'Lusty. 🢀

  111. This name is now unknown, as are the other names of families and tribes above mentioned, Hy-Murthim, Mac Danair, Hy-Gelogan, O'Buachaillen, and Clann-Cormac. 🢀

  112. Now obsolete. 🢀

  113. Now Emlagh, an old church giving name to a parish situated about four miles to the north-east of Kells, in Meath. In the Feilire Aenguis, at 5th April, this church is called Imliuch Fia, and placed in the territory of Fera Cul Breagh. Its patron saint is Becan mac Cula. The word imleach denotes land bordering on a lake, and Fia is explained 'nomen montis' by the glossographer of the Feilire🢀

  114. Anglicised Mulrony. 🢀

  115. Anglicised Mac Kenny. 🢀

  116. Would be written Amhlaoibh, according to the modern Irish orthography. This name, which is Danish origin in Ireland, has been variously anglicised Aulaff, Amlaff, Auliffe, Olave, and Awley. 🢀

  117. This name is anglicised McKeighry, and by some changed to Carey. 🢀

  118. i.e. the Hy-Briuin-Breifne, who branched into many families, but of whom the O'Rourkes, O'Reillys, Magaurans, and Mac Kiernans, seated in East or West Breifny, or the counties of Cavan and Leitrim, were the most distinguished. 🢀

  119. This was the name of a place in the town of Kells, for we learn from the Annals of the Four Masters, at the year 1156, that 'Kells was burned, both houses and churches, from the cross at the door of the Urdom or portico to Siofoic.' For the meaning of the word Urdom or Erdam, see Petrie's Essay The Round Towers of Ireland, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xx. (Index voce Erdam. 🢀

  120. i.e. Patrick's little lough. No such name exists at present in the vicinity of Kells. 🢀

  121. It ought to have been observed in an earlier part of these notes that the foregoing Chapters are printed without stops, or capital letters for the proper names: the contractions of the original have not been retained, for it would have been impossible to represent them without getting type cast expressly for the purpose. The character which denotes a long e or ea, and is common in old MSS., has, however, been preserved. See O'Donovan's Irish Grammar, p. 18. 🢀

  122. A translation of this Charter, with some illustrative notes, was published by the Editor in 1832 in the Dublin Penny Journal🢀

  123. This is published in the Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. ii. p. 1031, and the Editor has found it most useful in settling some disputed points connected with the history and topography of Monastereven. 🢀

  124. This has also been published in the Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. ii. p. 1040. 🢀

  125. A copy of this Charter is among Harris's Collections in the library of the Dublin Society; and has recently been printed by the Irish Archaeological Society Registrum Coenobii Omnium Sanctorum, edited by the Rev. R. Butler, from the original MS. in the library of Trinity College. 🢀

  126. Harris's Ware, p. 140. 🢀

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