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Detailed record for Harley 5280

Title Miscellany of Irish texts
Origin Ireland
Date 16th century
Language Gaelic
Script Gaelic
Scribe Written by more than one scribe.
Decoration 3 large initials in brown ink with interlace and zoomorphic motifs (ff. 12, 27, 59). Plain initials in brown ink, some large, some small.
Dimensions in mm 245 x 170 (175 x 120 )
Official foliation ff. 78 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Marbled endpapers.
Provenance Hugo Casserly (or Casserlye): inscribed in the early 17th century, 'Hugo Caserlye hiberniensis homo' (f. 45v), and his endorsement of a document addressed to Spelman (f. 10).
Sir Henry Spelman (b. 1563/4, d. 1641), historian and antiquary: inscribed, 'Henrici Spelman' (f. 12), and document addressed to him (f. 10).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes On this manuscript, its owners, and Spelman's realtions with Ireland, see Flower 1926.
ff. 1* - 8* should be foliated 1-8; f. 9 follows after this sequence.
ff. 1, 2 are inscribed with an English account of the contents of the manuscript, giving a brief description of each one of the 22 chapters.
ff. 3-9v are paper flyleaves inscribed with Latin text relating to the contents of the book.
f. 10 is a paper fragment inscribed with Gaelic text pasted onto a paper flyleaf.
ff. 11, 78 are parchment flyleaves.
1 blank parchment leaf after f. 20.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5280.

Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the British Museum, ed. by Standish Hayes O'Grady (vol. I) and Robin Flower (vol. II), 2 vols (London, 1926), II, pp. 298-323.

Risteard Breasalach Breatnach, 'Oidheadh Chloinne Tuireann, a sixteenth century Latin fragment', Eigse, 1 (1939), 249-57 [an edition of the tale of 'The death of the children of Tuireann' based on Harley 5280].

Françoise le Roux, 'Étude sur le festiaire celtique: IV Lugnasad ou la fête du roi', Ogam 14 (1962), 343-72.

Christian-J. Guyonvarc'h, 'La mort tragique des enfants de Tuireann', Ogam, 17 (1965), 189-92 [a translation and commentary of the text published by Breatnach, which is based on Harley 5280].

V. Hull, 'Cáin Domnaig [The Law of Sunday]', Eriu, 20 (1966), 151-77 [an early Irish text on Sabbath observance with mention of Harley 5280, ff. 38-39].

V. Hull, 'Apgitir Chrábaid; the Alphabet of Piety', Celtica, 8 (1968), 44-89 [mention of Harley 5280, f. 39v].

V. Hull, 'Noiden Ulad: the Debility of the Ulidians', Celtica, 8 (1968), 1-42 [mention of Harley 5280, ff. 53v-54].

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 97, 310.

H. P. A. Oskamp, 'The Yellow Book of Lecan Proper', Eriu, 26 (1975), 102-21.

Gearoid MacEoin, 'The Lament for Cuimine Fota', Eriu, 28 (1977), 17-31.

Padraig O'Neill, 'The Old Irish Treatise on the Psalter and its Hiberno-Latin Background', Eriu, 30 (1979), 148-64 [mention of Harley 5280, ff. 21-24v].

Seamus MacMathuna, Immram Brain: Bran's Journey to the Land of Women, (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1985), [as 'H'].

Tomás Ó Concheanainn, 'A Connacht Medieval Literary Heritage: Texts Derived from Cin Dromma Snechtai through Leabhar na hUidhre', Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, 16, (1988), 1-40.

W. O'Sullivan, 'The Manuscript Collection of Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh', In Studies in Early and Medieval Irish Archaeology, History and Literature, in Honour of Francis J. Byrne, ed. by Alfred P. Smyth (Dublin: Four Courts, 2000), pp. 439-47.

Martin McNamara, The Bible and the Apocrypha in the Early Irish Church (A.D. 600-1200), Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia, Research on the Inheritance of the Early and Medieval Christianity, 66 (Turnhout, Brepols, 2015), p. 67.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 59
Decorated initial

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