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Life of St. Columb-kill , by Magnus O'Donnell; and poems, 16th century

MS. Rawl. B. 514

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Prefixed is a full-length portrait of the saint with mitre and crozier.

The Life (which ends on fol. 60) is succeeded by eighteen leaves containing various Irish poems written in single columns. Of these the following list (which, as far as fol. 73, is partly an abstract of an incomplete description given by O'Conor) exhibits the names of the authors:

  1. (fols. 61–63) Eight poems by "Fland Manistrech;" i.e. Flann, abbot of Monaster Boice. See O'Reilly's Irish Writers, pp. lxxvii–viii., nos. 8, 13, 9, 11, 10, 12, 7, 6. The first is sometimes ascribed to Flann Mac Lonan.
  2. (fol. 63b) "Fland Mac Lonain ollam Connacht cc."
  3. (fol. 64b) "Colum Cille cc."
  4. (fols. 65–66) Four poems headed with the name of Caillin.
  5. (fol. 66) Poem headed "Caireall Mac Curnain cc."
  6. (fol. 66) Poem by St. Ultan.
  7. (fols. 66, 67b, 72b, 73b) Four anonymous poems.
  8. (fols. 66b, 67) Three poems by Find.
  9. (fol. 67b) Entry of O'Donnel's taxations on Ulster, "from a part of the old book which is preserved at Ardcarna." Printed with a translation in O'Conor's Catalogue of the Stowe MSS..
  10. (fols. 67b-70, 77b, 78) Nine poems by Giolla Brighide Mac Conmidhe (Conway). Three of these are described in O'Reilly's Irish writers, pp. xcvii., xcviii., nos. 1, 3, 4. At the end of the last is a memorandum dated 1541.
  11. (fols. 70b, 71) Three poems by Brian Ruadh (Roe) Mac Conmidhe. Cf. O'Reilly's Irish writers, p. cxxvi.
  12. (fol. 71b) Poem by Ruaidri Ruadh O'Huiginn (O'Higgin).
  13. (fol. 72) Poem by Fergual Ruadh O'Huiginn. Fergal's death is mentioned in O'Reilly's Irish writers, p. cxxix.
  14. (fols. 72b, 74b, 75b) Three poems by Taidg (or Tuath) occ O'Huicind (O'Higgin). An account of Teague O'Higgin is given in O'Reilly's Irish writers, p. cxxviii., where however these poems are not mentioned.
  15. (fol. 73) Poem by Diarmaid O'Cleirig (Dermot O'Clery).
  16. (fol. 74) Two poems by Muireduch Lesa Andoill.
  17. (fols. 75, 77) Two poems by Goff Mac An Baird (Ward).
  18. (fol. 76) Poem by Odal Breithfne, i. Seaan.
  19. (fol. 78b, by a later hand) Elegy on the death of Graine, sister of Aodh roe O'Donnell, by Cu-Ulaidh Mac An Baird. Described by O'Reilly in Irish writers, p. clix. The form of the author's name given in the text is Cu Ul Mac Concub. r. Mac An Baird.


  • Creation: 16th century


78 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Rawl. B. 514

Custodial History

Olim inter codices Waræi et comitis de Clarendon, 25; postea inter libros ducis de Chandos, 2567, e cujus bibl. emptus fuit a Rawlinson, pretio viginti trium solidorum.


  • The volume is described in vol. i. of O'Conor's Catalogue of the Stowe MSS. pp. 396–399 and by Dr. Todd in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy , vol. v., pp. 173–175. In the latter notice a copy and translation of a part of the preface are given, from which it appears that the Life was partly translated from Adamnan's Latin Life , and partly compiled and modernized from ancient Irish remains written in an obsolete dialect, at the castle of Port-na-tri-Namad (now Lifford castle, co. Donegal) in the year 1532. A line written on the back of the portrait (which is translated by O'Conor) appears to give the name of the scribe of the volume, Gildas-Brigit. Another notice gives the name of a former possessor, Cormac Mac Carthy, 2 Aug 1598.

Physical Facet

On parchment, in folio, in two columns, bene exaratus atque asservatus


Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom