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Patrick Sings A Hymn, In A Tripartite Life of Patrick

Patrick Sings A Hymn, In A Tripartite Life of Patrick

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1477

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 93

Item number: f.9r

Length: 28

Width: 20

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Called the "Tripartite Life of St Patrick", this manuscript tells the saint's life in the form of three homilies, each of which starts with a brief introduction. A scribe named Domnall Albanach O'Troighthigh, "of the house of O'Troighthigh in Baile of Moinin," wrote on the first page that he finished it on 29 July 1477. The O'Troighthigh are thought to have been based in County Clare, near Corcomroe. Domnall Albanach may have been copying another manuscript which in turn was a copy, now lost, made by a scribe at Cashel of the original compilation, which could date from as early as the 9th century or as late as the 11th, from sources that were earlier still. Comparisons between different copies spanning centuries attest to the fidelity of the scribes to the words of the book they copied.

On this page, wicked wizards overtake Patrick at Rath Ribard, in Tireragh, County Sligo, but he quickly gets rid of them to go on to give a young prince to Bishop Bron as a foster-son, a widespread practice in early Irish society which cemented inter-familial bonds. Afterwards he marks out the place where his tooth fell on the centre flagstone of the hall in a castle near the town of Sligo. He sings a hymn, the verses of which are marked in the margin with 'R's.

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