Home / Lifestyle / Historic manuscript returns to Dublin after 400 years

Historic manuscript returns to Dublin after 400 years

A historic manuscript from the 14th century has been acquired by Trinity College Dublin and has now been returned to Ireland.

The medieval text was produced at St Mary’s Abbey in Dublin and contains a vast array of historical records from Ireland prior to the 14th century.

St Mary’s Abbey was a regular meeting place for the religious and political leaders in Ireland. The manuscript includes accounts of the Trojan War, the conquest of Ireland and numerous legal texts from the era.
Historic manuscript returns home to Dublin after 400 years
It also contains works from Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales), one of the most prominent chroniclers of the early 13th century.

The manuscript was lost to private owners in the 16th century, after Henry VIII made the Church of England the dominant religion in Ireland.

It re-surfaced in the 18th century when it was purchased by British politician the first Earl Somers.

The manuscript was put on sale at Christie’s auctioneers in London in November 2014, and Trinity College Dublin brought it back to its home city.

The college’s historians are rightly excited to have secured its return to Dublin. Librarian and College Archivist Helen Shenton explained: “This is a major acquisition. It’s significant because it’s going to enable new research and scholarship and investigation in lots of different ways. It will enable a re-assessment of some of the history of Dublin because St Mary’s Abbey was in Dublin and we can look into the civic history in Dublin in the 14th and 15th century and the cultural history.”

Bernard Meehan, the Keeper of the Manuscripts at Trinity, added: “So few manuscripts have survived from medieval Ireland. There was enormous destruction of the monastic manuscripts in the Elizabethan Age in particular and when a manuscript like this comes up for sale it’s a very, very remarkable event.”

RTÉ visited the university to speak to the excited historians about their acquisition of the manuscript. Watch their report below.

Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?

There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship

Did you know?

Singer songwriter Ed Sheeran performed an Irish language version of his smash single Thinking Out Loud on RTÉ 2fm. It was a great gesture from Sheeran to learn his own song in another language – and his performance came after a classic radio prank. Find out more.

Have you heard about…

A stunning former schoolhouse in Co Sligo was sold in 2017 and turned into a beautiful home. Take a look inside.

What about this…

‘The man who couldn’t be killed’ - firefighter Mike Molloy was an Irish emigrant living in New York in the early 20th century. He was the victim of a consistent series of murder attempts by an insurance fraud gang. Find out more.

»crosslinked«

About Irish History

Check Also

These cows can’t get enough of Adam singing Fields of Athenry

These cows can’t get enough of Adam singing Fields of Athenry

A Californian man found his calling in life when he stood in front of a …

3 comments

  1. Larry C. Heward

    A very interesting acquisition…congratulations. Will be interested to learn of Irelands earlier history as the historians read through and decipher the messages therein. Thank you for sharing this post. Cheers.

  2. Patricia Callahan March

    Would love to receive your newsletters or post

  3. Patricia Callahan March

    Would love to receive your newsletters or post a.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.