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his Primordia, some twenty times, being the source whence he drew, through Tirechan and Muirchu, the earliest portions of his Irish materials. And it is to be regretted that he has failed to record the history and fortunes of the book, for he could have transmitted to us many curious traditions concerning it, which are now irrecoverably
tantóquerras a sedeo tener
Sir James Ware was more communicative. In 1656 he published his small octavo of 156 pages, entitled Opuscula S. Patricii,' of which the first in order is the Confessio, and for it he collated our MS., which he calls by the same name as Ussher, and thus describes : “ Codex Ecclesiæ Armachanæ suprà memoratus continet, præter Confessionem S. Patricii, Biblia sacra à versione D. Hieronymi, & antiquissimum exemplar Sulpitii Severi, de vita S. Martini Episcopi Turonensis, tantóque olim habebatur in pretio, ut familia MacMoyeriana tenuerit terras a sede Armachana, ob salvam illius codicis custodiam. Magnam hanc libro venerationem præcipuè conciliavit vulgaris opinio manu ipsius Sancti Patriciä illum fuisse exaratum. Et certè ad calcem Confessionis ejus, hæc verba leguntur: Huc usque rolumen quod Patricius manu conscripsit sua. Deinde; Septimâ decima Martii die translatus est Patricius ad Cælos. Ex characteris tamen genere, satis liquet non autographum esse, sed longè posteriori ævo transcriptum."2 At the date above mentioned the MS. was probably in the possession of its last hereditary Keeper; for in a blank page on the verso of the 104th leaf there is the autograph memorandum, “ Liber Flarentini Miure, June 29th, 1662,” and, which is doubly valuable in that it identifies the book as the veritable Canon Phadruig, ere it passed into strange hands, where its ancient veneration soon died away. From a letter of the date 1681, lately brought to light, we learn that Florence Mac Moir was a layman, and his calling that of schoolmaster. And it is a curious coincidence, that, at a later
"“S. Patricio, Qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta Opuscula " (Lond., 1656).
Ibid., note, p. 94. 3 Moliti sunt sacrilegum illud parricidium Franciscani duo Mac Moyer et Duffy apostatæ scelestissimi, adjunctis sibi Mac Lane parocho quodam et quatuor secularibus, quorum duo sunt ex familia O'Nellorum, tertius ludi magister quidam Florentinus Mac Moyer, Franciscani consanguineus, quartus ex familia Hanlonorum, et hi omnes iniquitate insignissimi.”—Letter of Dr. James Cusack, Bishop of Meath, in Dr. Moran's Memoirs of M. R. Oliver Plunket (Dublin, 1861), p. 307. Lord Massereene, in a letter, calls our keeper Florence Wyer.-16., p. 310. See particularly p. 317. Archbishop Plunket styled Florence Mac Moyer and his three lay comrades “open perjurers."-Ib., p. 361.
date, Henry Mulholland, the last hereditary keeper of St. Patrick's Bell-on whose death it passed to his former pupil, Mr. Adam M‘Clean—was also the childless teacher of a country school.
The witnesses against Archbishop Dr. Oliver Plunket, of whom Florence Wyre was the principal one, arrived in London in January, 1681 ; on the 8th of June the Archbishop was arraigned ; and on the 1st of July he was executed. But his accusers were not thereupon discharged, for the titular Archbishop of Cashel, on the 30th of June, 1683, stated, in a letter, “that Friar Mac Moyer and another Moyer, a relation of his, both accusers of the unhappy Primate, continue still in prison, where they suffer great privations, and are almost dead from hunger, finding none who will give them food, so abhorred are they by all.”'Florence Wyre eventually recovered his liberty, and returned to Ireland, but so impoverished that he was unable to redeem his precious book, and regain possession of it. He died at home, on the 12th of February, 1713, and was buried in Ballymyre churchyard, as we learn from the rude inscription on a small flag which lay upon his grave, and was annually insulted with marked indignities. Its preservation is due to the late Mr. Synnot, who had it removed to Ballymoyer House, where it is now preserved. In 1707, while Florence was still living, Edward Lhuyd published the first volume of his Archæologia Britannica, at the end of which he gives a catalogue of Irish manuscripts, having in No. iv. this entry :3 “Arthur Brownlow of Lurgan, Clun Brasil,* in the County of Down, has the MS. following." He then recites the titles of twelve works, of which the first three are now in my possession. And he adds the names of some “Books mentioned in a letter lately received from Ireland, as MSS. now extant there." Of these the first on the list
. ? Dr. Moran's Memoirs of M. R. Oliver Plunket, p. 306.
2 The upper portion of the stone is broken straight across. The missing portion probably had the bracketed line
(HERE LYETH THE]
BODY OF FLORENCE
FEB. THE 12 1713 The fracture ran through the name, but left more than the lower half of the capitals.
3 Archæologia Britan., p. 436, col. 1.
* Clun Brasil, i.e. Cluain Breasail, the ancient name of the barony O'Neilland East, in the county of Armagh (not Down), wherein Lurgan is situated.
• Ibid., p. 436, col. 3.
is “Leabhar Arda Macha," his informant being probably his literary correspondent at Lurgan. This prepares us for the following communication, made to the Marquis of Buckingham, by Dr. Charles O'Conor, in the Epistola Nuncupatoria of his great work, bearing date the 15th of February, 1813:—"LI. Liber Ardmachanus. Sequentia de hoc libro ex doctissimi Humphredi? Lhwydi Schedis descripta, perhumaniter ad me transmisit ex Wallia prælaudatus Tuus Nepos Carolus Williams Wynne ? :
“Codex hic, ultra omne dubium, perquam antiquus est, sive manu ipsius S. Patricü partim conscriptus (uti habetur ad calcem folii 24 ti, sive sit, quod mihi verisimilius videtur, alicujus posterioris æri opus. Et forsan est ille ipse Textus Evangeliorum, quem divus Bernardus, in Vita Malachiæ inter insignia Ædis Ardmachanæ numerat, et Textum ipsius S. Patricii fuisse narrat. Ab Usserio et Waræo Liber Ardmachanus, ab indigenis vero Liber Canonum S. Patricii nuncupatur, a Canonibus concordantium inter se Evangelistarum, folio 26to incæptis, sic (ut opinor) nominatus. Liber hic ab Hibernigenis magno olim habebatur in pretio, adeo ut familia illa, vulgo vocata Mac Maor, Anglice Mac Moyre, nomen suum a custodiendo hoc libro mutuatum habeat; Maor enim Hibernice Custos est, et Maor na Ccanon, sive CustoCanonum, tota illa familia communiter appellata fuit; et octo villulas in agro ..., terras de Balli Moyre dictas, a sede Ardmachana olim tenuit, ob salvam hujus libri custodiam ; in quorum manibus, multis jam retro sæculis, liber hic extitit, usque dum Florentinus Mc Moyre in Angliam se contulit, sub anno salutis humanæ 1680, ut testimonium perhiberet, quod vereor non verum, versus Oliverum Plunket Theologiæ Doctorem, et regni hujus, secundum Romanos, Archipræsulem, qui Londini immerito (ut creditur) furca plexus est. Deficientibus autem in Moyro nummis, in decessu suo, Codicem hunc pro quinque libris sterl. ut pignus deposuit. Hinc ad manus Arthuri Brownlowe gratissime pervenit, qui, non sine magno labore, disjuncta tunc folia debito suo ordine struxit, numeros in
1 This is a blunder for Edwardi, and it has been perpetuated by Betham (1827), Petrie (1845), and others, with whom the name Humphrey Lloyd was academically familiar. Old Humphrey died an exact century before Edward was born, namely, 1570 and 1670.
?" Alias inscriptiones Oghamias, saxis sepulchralibus vetustis, in Australi Hibernia, insculptas, notavit Archæologiæ Auctor doctissimus Lhuydus ; quarum nonnullas, ex suis Schedis selectas, humaniter more suo communicavit Vester ex Sorore spectatissimus Nepos, Carolus Williams Wynne."- Epist. Nuncup., P. xxxiii.
summo libri posuit folia designantes, aliosque in margine addidit capita distinguentes, eademque folia sic disposita prisco suo velamine (ut jam videre liceat) compingi curavit, et in pristina sua theca ? conservari fecit, una cum bulla quadam Romani Pontificis cum eodem inventa. Continet in se quædam fragmenta Vitæ S. Patricii a diversis authoribus, iisque plerumque anonymis, conscripta. Continet etiam Confessionem S. Patricii, vel (ut magis proprie dicam) Epistolam suam ad Hibernos, tunc nuperrime ad fidem conversos. Continet etiam Epistolam quam scripsit Divus Hieronymus ad Damasum Papam, per modum Procemii ad Versionem. Continet etiam Canones decem, in quibus ostenduntur Concordantiæ inter se Evangelistarum, ac etiam breves causas, sive interpretationes uniuscujusque seorsim Evangelistæ, necnon Novum Testamentum, juxta versionem (ut opinor) Divi Hieronymi, in quo reperitur Epistola illa ad Laodicenses cujus fit mentio ad Colossenses. In Epistola prima Johannis deest versus ille,
Tres sunt in cælo, &c. Continet etiam Hebræorum nominum quæ in singulis Evangeliis reperiuntur explicationes, una cum variis variorum argumentis ad singula Evangelia, et ad unamquamque fere Epistolam referentibus. Continet denique Vitam S. Martini Episcopi Turonensis, (avunculi, ut fertur, S. Patricii,) a Sulpitio Severo conscriptam.Nota quod in Evangelio sec. Matthæum, desiderantur quatuor (ut ego existimo) folia, scilicet a versu tricesimo tertio capitis decimiquarti, usque ad vers. 5, capitis xxi.-Nota etiam quod Epistolæ Apostolorum non sunt eodem ordine dispositæ, quo vulgo apud nos hodierno die reperiuntur."
From the foregoing evidence we learn that the book was pledged in or about the year 1680, and that it was in Mr. Brownlow's possession before 1707. Who was the holder, or what happened in the
1 This remarkable Case is to be seen in the Library of Trinity College.
2 This has gone astray. Supposing that as it was a detached instrument, it might have been consigned to the muniment chest, I requested a search among the old family parchments, and received through a friend the following communication :-“ Brownlow House, March 4th, 1854. Dear Mr. Oulton, I have not only heard of, but seen, that old manuscript called the Book of Armagh, and William Brownlow was most anxious that I should be the purchaser of it. But I declined, having bad taste enough to think that the money asked for it was absurd. I will have a diligent search made in the deed-box for what you want, and have also written to John Hancocke in hopes he may be able to throw some light on the subject. Believe me yours sincerely, Lurgan." The search was carefully made, but the document could not be found.
3 Rer. Hib. Script., tom. i.; Epist. Nuncup., pp. lvi.-lviii.
was annually been Registras the sold people of
meantime, we are not informed, nor is it essential to know. The important fact in its transmission is, that the new owner was in possession of the book at least seven years before the death of the last hereditary keeper. Strange to say, there is not an individual of the name Mac Moger or Wyre now living in the parish of Ballymyre, nor is either form of name remembered there; but there is an impression that the discredit brought upon the name in the trial of Archbishop Plunket was such that those who bore it adopted in its stead that of Maguire, which was akin in sound, though very remote in structure. The local tradition is that Florence and three brothers resided in the glen of the townland Tate, or Ballintate, called, from the occupants, Glen-a-Wyre, and there were lately those living who remembered the remains of his reputed house in this spot. Among the old people of the parish he was supposed to have been Registrar of Armagh, and the belief was that he was annually cursed by the Pope at Rome, as one who was an apostate from the Faith, and a bitter enemy of the Church.
Compared with the present extinction of the name, the Primate's rental stands out in striking contrast, where we find Pearce M'Imoyre tenant of the two balliboes of Knockvenan; Cormac M Imoyre, of two balliboes in Cavanakill; Patrick M Imoyre, in Corlett; Maurice M'Imoyre, of two sessiaghs in Mullany; Tioll M Imoyre, and Shane Mae Imoyre, and Patrick M'Imoyre, with his son Patrick M*Imoyre, in the balliboe of Ballintemple and sessiagh of Ballyratill. In the rental of 1620, they all disappear, and George Fairfax, agreeably with the plantation system, is presented as sole tenant under the See.
With the eighteenth century the Book of Armagh starts in Brownlow keeping, and thenceforward its history is dormant for over a hundred years. The Arthur Brownlow above mentioned was son of Patrick Chamberlain of Nestlerath, in the county of Louth, who married Lettice, only child and heiress of Sir William Brownlow. Sir William died January 20, 1660, having settled the estate upon his daughter for life, with remainder to her son, who was born in 1644,
and Patriciaghs in Mullany, moyre, in Corlett;""of two
1 In 1610 John Brownlowe, Esq., had a grant of a middle proportion in the county Armagh, containing Lurgan; and next month his son William, gent., had a grant of a small proportion adjacent. On the death of the former the son became possessor of both, was knighted, and dying in 1660, the estates passed to his grandson, William Chamberlain, who assumed the name and arms of Brownlow. See Calend. Pat. R. of Jac., i., p. 165 a and 165 b; Ulst. Ing., Armagh, No. 7 Car. i.
R.I.A. PROC., SER. III. VOL. II.