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his advantage, made the acquaintance of Usher, who had already started on the road to fame. Like Usher, Ware was quick at learning, and in regular course he took his degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts. Like Usher also, he had already commenced the labours which were to make him famous, and before he was thirty years of age his collection of books and manuscripts was anything but contemptible. In 1626 he visited London, and in that same year the Antiquities of Ireland began to appear. It was published in parts, as were almost all his works, and, as Magee observes, still bears the external evidences of profound patchwork. In London he was introduced by Usher to Sir Robert Cotton, who gave him every help in his power, and who placed his library and collection at his service. He availed himself largely of the treasures thus placed before him, and he also made considerable researches among the state papers in the Tower and elsewhere. Soon after his return to Ireland he commenced the publication of his Lives of the Irish Bishops; and two years later, in 1628, he again visited London, where he this time made the acquaintance of Selden, and from whence he brought back to Ireland large additions to his collection. In 1629 he was knighted, and in 1632, when his father died, he succeeded to both the fortune and office of his parent. In 1639 he was made one of the privy-council, and the same year, despite the labours of his office and the distractions by which he was surrounded, he managed to publish his most quoted work, the Writers of Ireland. In this year also he was elected member of parliament for the university of Dublin, and in 1640, as the friend of Strafford, he strongly opposed the election of the Irish committee which was sent to London to assist in the accusation of the unlucky viceroy. During the rule of Borlase and Parsons and the succeeding viceroyalty of Ormond, the conduct of Ware was such as to be admired by friend and foe.

In 1644 Ware left Dublin for Oxford as one of the deputies from Ormond to the king, and while in Oxford he still continued his favourite studies, and was made a Doctor of Laws by the university. On his way back to Ireland the vessel in which he sailed was captured by a Parliamentarian vessel, and he was sent a prisoner to the Tower of London, where he remained ten months, until exchanged, and returned to Dublin. In 1647, on the surrender of Dublin, he was given up as one of the hos

tages and despatched to London, where he was detained two years. On his again returning home he lived privately for a time, but in 1649 the Puritan deputy ordered him to quit the kingdom, and with one son and a single servant he departed for France. In France Ware resided chiefly at Caen and Paris, and at both places busied himself, as might be expected, in his favourite pursuits of hunting for manuscripts and making extracts from those lent to him or which he was allowed to see. In 1651 he was permitted to return to London on family business, and in 1653 he was allowed to return to Ireland to visit his estate, which was then in a sad condition. In 1654 he published his final instalment of the Antiquities of Ireland, of which a second and improved edition appeared in 1659. In 1656 appeared his Works Ascribed to St. Patrick, in 1664 his Annals of Ireland, and in 1665 he saw the completion of his Lives of the Irish Bishops.

The Restoration brought restoration of his previous offices to Ware, and at the election for parliament he was again chosen member for the university. He was soon also appointed one of the four commissioners for appeals in excise cases, and he was offered the title of viscount, which he "thankfully refused." Two blank baronetcies were then presented to him, and these he filled up with the names of two friends. A little later, on the 1st December (Wills says the 3d), 1666, he died, famed for uprightness and benevolence. He was buried in the family vault in the church of St. Werburgh, Dublin.

Ware's works were all written and published in Latin, but in the following century they were translated into English by Walter Harris, who married Ware's great-granddaughter, and thereby inherited his manuscripts. His translation filled two massive folio volumes, which are to be found on the shelves of every library deserving the name. The very excellence of these important works-their brief accuracy and minute comprehensiveness— render them almost as unquotable as a dictionary. In them, also, the author rarely falls into theorizing, for which, says Wills, "he had too little genius, yet too much common sense." Magee speaks of him as "a great, persevering bookworm, a sincere receiver and transmitter of truth." Bishop Nicolson says of him, "To Sir James Ware (the Cambden of Ireland) this kingdom is everlastingly obliged for the great pains he took in collecting and preserving our scattered monuments of antiquities."]

Besides the vulgar characters, the ancient LANGUAGE OF THE ANCIENT IRISH.1 Irish made use of various occult forms and artificial rules in writing called ogum, to which they committed their secret affairs. I have in my custody an ancient parchment book filled with such characters.

Some learned men are of opinion that the British was the ancient language of the Irish; and they labour to demonstrate this assertion from the vast abundance of British words which the Irish, even at this day, use, either entire or but little corrupted. I confess I am of the same opinion, but as I think that their most ancient language was British, introduced among them by their first colonies, who were from Britain, so I cannot but be of opinion that their proper language was partly refined and polished by the intermixture of other colonies, and that it was partly changed by the revolutions of time. According to


"Such words which now the present age decries,
Shall in the next with approbation rise;
Others, grown old in fame and high request,
In the succeeding age shall be supprest.
So much doth custom o'er our speech prevail,
The sole unquestioned judge and law of all."

The Greeks and Italians may serve us for examples of this assertion, and (which is not to be forgotten in this place) it is evident that, in some years after the arrival of the Saxons, the British language was in Britain itself, as it were, banished and thrust down into Cornwall and Wales, insomuch that in the other parts of the island scarce the least tract or footstep of the ancient language remains to this day. Besides, as the Irish of old spoke the ancient British language, so also they borrowed their alphabet or letters from the ancient Britains, as it is possible the Saxons afterwards might have done from the Irish, when they flocked to their schools for the sake of education. Further, as, among other arguments, the first inhabitants of Ireland are thought to be colonies of Britains, from the affinity between their languages, so the Albanian Scots, especially those of the north, are for the same reason thought to be colonies of the Irish. "It is from many arguments plain (says Johannes Major) that we derive our origin from the Irish. This we are taught by Bede, an Englishman, who would not be fond of lessening the offspring of his own country; this is evident from the language, for almost half Scotland speaks Irish at this day, and more did so some time past."

1 This and the three following pieces are from The Whole Works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland, translated by Walter Harris, and published in Dublin in 1764.


Surnames have been added to the proper names of the ancient Irish either from some remarkable action, or from the quality of the mind, or from the colour, or mark, or defect in the body, or from some accident, and sometimes ironically. Thus Neill, king of Ireland, was called Nigialac,2 because he had exacted nine hostages from the petty kings, and held them for some time bound in fetters. King Bryen was called Boruma, because he had recovered from the provincialists of Leinster an annual tribute called by that name. Caenfela was called the wise; St. Barr, Finn Barr, or Barr the white; St. Cornin, Fada, i.e. long Cornin; and Ed, Clericus Barbosus, the bearded clerk, from an overgrown beard he affected to wear.

The same practice prevailed among the Grecians. Seleucus, the third king of Syria, was called Ceraunus, the thunderbolt, from his violent temper. Ptolemy, the seventh king of Egypt, was known by the name of Physcon, from the grossness of his paunch; and, to pass by other instances, the last Ptolemy his excessive fondness of the pipe. So among save one was called Auletes, or the piper, from the Romans Marcus Valerius was called Corvus, and his posterity Corvini, because in a single combat he slew a Gaul, who had challenged him, by the help of a raven. One of the Scipios got the name of Africanus, the other of Asiaticus, from victories obtained by them in these two different quarters of the world. So a man born in the absence of his father was called Proclus, if after his father's death, Posthumus, and if lame, Claudius.

It is to be observed that the old Irish

besides surnames took other names, by ancient custom, from their paternal names, as Dermod MacCormac, or the son of Cormac; Cormac MacDonald, or the son of Donald; Donald MacTirdelvach, or the son of Tirlagh.

At length, in the reign of King Brien, the surnames of the Irish, or family names, began to be fixed, and handed down to posterity

2 Nigi signifies nine, and geall a pledge or hostage.

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with the aspirate h or the monosyllable va prefixed, which was afterwards changed into the vowel O, and signifies one descended from some chieftain or head of a principal family, as O'Brien, O'Connor, O'Neill. Yet it must be confessed that some centuries after King Brien's reign numbers of families took no fixed or certain surnames. It has been observed by writers that about the year 1000, in Brien's reign, surnames also began to be ascertained in France, England, and Scotland, first among people of distinction, and afterwards by degrees among the inferior sort. Finally, after surnames were settled in Ireland, some particular children of Irish families had additional sobriquets or nicknames given them, as Bane - White, Boy-Yellow, Bacca-Lame, Moil-Bald, and the like; and the same custom also gradually crept in among some families of English birth.



It is certain there is nothing concerning the first original of nations to be found anywhere worthy of credit but in Holy Writ. Moses hath given us a catalogue of the posterity of Noah, whose children and grandchildren he recounts in order, probably not all, but the principal of them, from whom the most famous nations of the world have drawn their names and originals. "By the sons of Japhet the isles of the Gentiles were divided in their lands, every man after his tongue, and after their families in their nations." Commentators interpret the isles of the Gentiles to mean the maritime parts of Asia, and all Europe, to which the necessary passage is by sea. Josephus hath placed the posterity of Japhet in those countries of Asia which lie extended from the mountains Taurus and Amanus near the Mediterranean Sea, to the river Tanais northward of the Euxine, and from thence hath brought them into Europe, as far as the Gades, that is Cadiz or Cales, within the mouth of the Streights of Gibraltar. If then this be so, it is easy to conceive how the rest of Europe came in time to be peopled. For as the nature of man is inquisitive after novelties, and as the number of our ancestors increased, both necessity and curiosity forced them to go in quest of other countries, at once to gratify their ambition and find room for their people. From Cadiz we can easily see them dispersing themselves over Spain; from


thence in process of time pushing one another forward into Germany, Gaul, &c., and across the narrow firth from Calis to the coast of Kent; from thence by degrees northward into that part of Britain since called Scotland, and south and south-west to Wales; from each of which countries Ireland is visible, and might easily receive colonies in their wicker corraghs, and other contrivances of these early ages. And this I take to be the most rational way of accounting for the first planting of Ireland; as it is most natural to suppose, that islands were first planted from countries that border nearest to them; which is the reason given by Tacitus why the Gauls first peopled Britain.

But as Ireland, with the rest of Europe, are descended from Japhet, the difficulty then remains from which of his sons we are to claim our original. In the time of Moses the names and fixed seats of the descendants of Noah were without question clear enough; but now, after the space of upwards of three thousand years, after so many flittings, changes, and confusions of nations, there remains nothing to rely upon. It is very observable what Josephus says upon this subject. "From this time forward (i.e. from the confusion of Babel) the multitudes dispersed themselves into divers countries and planted colonies in all places. Some there were also who, passing the sea in ships and vessels, first peopled the islands; and there are some nations likewise who at this day retain the names which in times past were imposed on them; some others have changed them, and others are altered into names more familiar and known to the neighbours, and deriving them from the Greeks, the authors of such titles. For they in latter time, having grown to great name and power, appropriated the ancient glory to themselves in giving names to the nations which they subdued, as if they took their original from them." We see here a lively picture of the dispersion and plantation of colonies in several parts of the world, and of the changes and variations of their names; we see the ambitious humour of the Greeks in seeking to draw other nations to a dependence on them for their originals; which hath afforded scope enough to later writers for invention. But to proceed. If we allow the progress and dispersion of our ancestors to be in the manner as before is set forth, then we must admit our descent from Gomer, the eldest son of Japhet, through the Britains, who are confessedly descended from that original. Josephus is my witness that



Gomer was the founder of the Gomarians, | authors of this turn foreseen, would probably whom the Greeks (says he) called Galatians, have made them more cautious in this point. others Gallo-Grecians. Berosus styles Gomer Miracles are things of so extraordinary a nature himself Gomerus - Gallus, Gomer the Gaul. that they must be well attested in order to . . . But this descent from the Britains must gain credit among men. But these writers, by be understood of the first and early colonies introducing them on every frivolous occasion arriving in Ireland, which by the best account without number, measure, or use, have called are allowed to be of British original, and con- the truth of everything they relate into quessequently descended from Gomer. As to the tion, and in this case have brought into disMilesian or Scythian, which was the last that credit, and even ridicule, the real miracles got footing in Ireland before the arrival of which perhaps this holy man may have wrought. the English, Magog, another son of Japhet, The lavish use they have made of them serveth was their ancestor. The sacred historian gives only to oppress faith, as a profusion of scents no manner of account of the sons of Magog; overpowereth the brain. By this indiscretion but Josephus makes him "the founder of the they have made their writings to be generally Magogians, called by the Greeks Scythians, looked upon as entirely fabulous, and their and whom Ptolemy names the Massagetae. unskilful management hath only served to Keating hath given us a particular genealogy bring our great patron into contempt. I will of the posterity of Magog to Milesius through not trouble the reader with my private opinion twenty-two generations, and hath conducted as to the truth of his miracles, which is a them in their several voyages until he sets point that may admit of much dispute without them down in Spain in as exact manner as if any great benefit. On one side it may be said, he had been their pilot. that as God inspired him with the glorious resolution of adventuring himself to reclaim an infidel and barbarous people to Christianity, so he armed him with all the necessary powers and virtues to go through so great a work. There may seem to be the same necessity in this instance as in those of the apostles, the end and intention of their mission being the same. On the other side it may be said that several infidel nations have been converted to Christianity without miracles, and that the present missionaries in the East and West Indies work conversions without pretending to that extraordinary gift. I shall not engage in this dispute.


This primitive bishop was a person of such exemplary piety and virtue, and his labours and success in converting this once pagan and barbarous nation to Christianity were so wonderful and useful, that the actions of his life were worthy of being transmitted to posterity by the most faithful and able pen. But unhappily this task hath fallen into the most weak and injudicious hands, who have crowded it with such numberless fictions and monstrous fables, that, like the legends of King Arthur, they would almost tempt one to doubt the reality of the person. It is observable that (as the purest streams flow always nearest to the fountain) so, among the many writers of the life of this prelate, those who lived nearest to his time have had the greatest regard to truth, and have been most sparing in recounting his miracles. Thus Fiech, bishop of Sletty, and contemporary with our saint, comprehended the most material events of his life in an Irish hymn of thirty-four stanzas. But in process of time, as the writers of his life increased, so his miracles were multiplied (especially in the dark ages) until at last they exceeded all bounds of credibility.

There is one consequence that hath followed such a legendary way of writing, which, had

As seven cities contended for the birth of Homer, the prince of poets, so almost as many places have laid claim to the honour of having given birth to St. Patrick. Baronius and Matthew of Worcester, usually called Florilegus, say he was a native of Ireland, being deceived probably by an ambiguous expression in the martyrologists, "In Ireland, the nativity of St. Patrick." Whereas in the constant language of the martyrologists a saint's nativity is not esteemed the day of his entrance into this world, but the day of his death. I wonder Philip O'Sullevan hath from these great authorities omitted to claim our saint for his countryman. But he hath fallen into as gross an error, for he makes him a native of BasBretagne, in France. Another writer gives Cornwall in the south of England the honour of his birth, with as little reason as the former. The English translator of the Golden Legend

with reverence to these great authorities, I must take the liberty to fix his birth a year later, i.e. in 373, on the 5th of April. For the most commonly received opinion is (with which Usher in another part of his work agrees) that St. Patrick lived but 120 years, and that he died in 493. And this is further confirmed by the old Irish Book of Sligo, as quoted by Usher, that St. Patrick was born, baptized, and died on the fourth day, Wednesday. Now the 5th of April, 373, fell on Wednesday, and consequently was his birthday that year.

will have him a Welshman. Camden also tells | Usher could see no reason to depart. Yet us that St. Patrick was born in Ross Vale (in Valle Rosina), which signifies a verdant plain; and Humphrey Lloyd in Vale Rosea or Rosina, the rosy plain. Sigebert of Gemblours and many others have called him a Scot, and the Scottish writers to a man will have him their countryman. But this is grounded on two mistakes: First, from the language of ancient martyrologists, as I observed before, which means by the nativity of a saint the day of his death, so that when we meet in Bede, &c., this passage, "On the 17th March in Scotia, the nativity of St. Patrick," it must be understood the day of his death. And it is well known that in the days of St. Patrick, and for many ages after, Ireland was known by the name of Scotia and not the modern Scotland. The second mistake hath been occasioned by the alteration of the bounds and limits of countries, so that Dun-Britain, near which St. Patrick was born, though it be now a part of modern Scotland, yet in his time it was within the British territories. Having thus cleared the different pretensions to his birth, I shall now proceed to fix the right place of it, and from thence go on to relate the several particulars of his life.

He was born in the extreme bounds of Britain (in that part of it which is now comprehended within the limits of modern Scotland), at a village called Banavan in the territory of Tabernia (as he himself saith in his confessions). Joceline explains Tabernia to signify the Field of Tents, because the Roman army had pitched their tents there, and adds "that the place of his father's habitation was near the town of Erupthor, bounding on the Irish Sea." From this description Usher points out the very spot where he was born, at a place called after him Kirk-Patrick or KilPatrick, between the castle of Dunbriton and the city of Glasgow, where the rampart which separated the barbarians from the Romans terminated.

As there were various opinions concerning his country, so writers differ much as to the time of his birth. William of Malmesbury, Adam of Dornerham, and John the Monk of Glastonbury, place his birth in 361, with whom Stanihurst agrees, and all of them follow Probus, on whom we cannot depend. . . . The Annals of Connaught are yet more grossly mistaken in assigning his birth to the year 336. Henry of Marleburg says he was born in 376, Joceline in 370, but Florence of Worcester, nearer the truth, in 372; from whose calculation

I shall pass over his infancy without taking any notice of the miracles ascribed to him by the legend writers of his life. His contemporary, the venerable Fiech, is silent as to this particular; and St. Patrick himself ascribes his captivity to his ignorance of the true God, and his disobedience to his commands. He was educated with great care and tenderness by his parents, and his sweet and gentle behaviour rendered him the delight and admiration of all his neighbours.

His father, mother, brother, and five sisters undertook a voyage to Aremoric Gaul (since called Bas-Bretagne) to visit the relations of his mother Conchessa. It happened about this time that the seven sons of Factmude, some British prince, were banished, and took to the sea; that making an inroad into Aremoric Gaul they took Patrick and his sister Lupita prisoners. They brought their booty to the north of Ireland, and sold Patrick to Milcho-Mac-Huanan, a petty prince of Dalaradia.1 Others tell the story in a different manner and with a better face of probability, that the Romans having left Britain naked and defenceless, its inhabitants became an easy prey to their troublesome neighbours the Irish, and that our saint fell into the hands of some of these pirates and was carried into Ireland. But in this they all agree, and he himself confirms it, that he continued captive in Ireland six years. He was sold to Milcho and his three brothers, which gave the occasion of changing his name into Cothraig, or rather Ceathir-Tigh, because he served four masters, Ceathir signifying four, and Tigh a house or family. Milcho observing the care and diligence of this new servant, bought out

The south and south-east parts of the county of Antrim and all the county Down.

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