Partholyan

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

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There is a curious treatise on the antiquities and origin of Cambridge, in which it is stated, that, in the year of the world 4321, a British prince, the son of Gulguntius, or Gurmund, having crossed over to Denmark, to enforce tribute from a Danish king, was returning victorious off the Orcades, when he encountered thirty ships, full of men and women. On his inquiring into the object of their voyage, their leader, Partholyan,made an appeal to his goodnature, and entreated from the prince some small portion of land in Britain, as his crew were weary of sailing over the ocean. Being informed that he came from Spain, the British prince received him under his protection, and assigned faithful guides to attend him into Ireland, which was then wholly uninhabited; and he granted it to them, subject to an annual tribute, and confirmed the appointment of Partholyan as their chief.[6]

This account was so firmly believed in England, that it is specially set forth in an Irish act (11th of Queen Elizabeth) among the "auncient and sundry strong authentique tytles for the kings of England to this land of Ireland." The tradition may have been obtained from Irish sources, and was probably "improved" and accommodated to fortify the Saxon claim, by the addition of the pretended grant; but it is certainly evidence of the early belief in the Milesian colonization of Ireland, and the name of their leader.

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[6] Chief.~De Antiq. et Orig. Cantab.See D'Alton's Essay,p. 24, for other authorities.


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