The Book of Hy Many
Leabhar Ui Maine
RIA MS D ii 1

Named for a region of County Galway--which in turn was named for a chieftain of the O'Kelly tribe, one Maine Mor--The Book of Hy Many is sometimes called The Book of O'Kelly for the family which owned it. It was written in 1394 by six scribes, the most important being Adam Cusin and Faelan Mac a' Gabann na Scel. They produced it for Muircheartaigh Ceallaigh (O'Kelly), Bishop of Clonfert and later Tuam.

The book even admits to being "a mixed bag of contents" (bolg an tsolathair), containing not only a genealogy of the O'Kelly clan, but also a series of metrical dindsenchas, An Banshenchas, and Cormac's Glossary.

The history of the manuscript is fairly stable--it was in the hands of the O'Kelly clan until 1757, when it was sold to a William Betham in 1814, who proceeded to sell the manuscript to the Duke of Buckingham. The duke then donated the manuscript to the Royal Irish Academy in 1883.

Digital images of the manuscripts cna be found here



2. Leabhar Ui Maine: a digital edition of the book.

Back to "H" | Back to JCE

Mary Jones 2003