Book of Ballymote

The original of the Book of Ballymote, beautifully written on vellum, is deposited in the library of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. In most of the Tracts contained in that interesting volume there are many valuable poems given in their entirety, in proof of, or to illustrate, the facts which they record. What a treat it would be to all who feel an interest in ancient Irish history and genealogy, if the Book of Ballymote were translated into English, and published! The following are the contents of that noble Work:

  1. The ages and synchronism of the Kings of the World with the Kings of Ireland.
  2. The Book of Conquests.
  3. Much of the History and Instruction of Princes.
  4. Book of the Eugenians.
  5. Book of Meath.
  6. Book of the Conallians (Tirconnell).
  7. Genealogy of the Progeny of Brian, son (of) Eochy Moymeadhoin.
  8. The Book of Fiachra.
  9. The Oirgiallan Book.
  10. Book of the Genealogy of the Descendants of the Three Collas, in Ireland and Scotland.
  11. The Leinster Book.
  12. The Munster Book.
  13. The Ulster Book. (Part of the Munster Book is in the Ulster Book.)
  14. Re-Explication of the History of Munster down from Nuadh Deaghlaive.
  15. Neighbouring Branches (or a Genealogical Tree) of the Tribe of Cas.
  16. Neighbouring Branches of Delvin.
  17. Battle of Crinda.
  18. Pedigree of Dairfine, viz., the Progeny of Luy, sou of Ith.
  19. Pedigree of the Picts and Britons.
  20. Sacred History.
  21. History of the Sons of Israel.
  22. Story of Connor, son of Fachtna.
  23. Story of Daithi.
  24. Names of the Plebeians of Ireland, and their call to Ireland.
  25. Wonders of Ireland.
  26. Senate of Luain.
  27. Death of Ahairne and his Children.
  28. Generation of Conor.
  29. Generation of Cormac.
  30. Adventures of Cormac in the Land of Promise.
  31. Right of the Children of Cormac.
  32. Death of Crivhan, son of Fiodhay, and the three sons of Eochy Moyveodhain—Brian, Oilioll, and Fiachra.
  33. The Travels of Maghruith.
  34. The Book of Rights of the Provinces.
  35. Historical Account of Famous Women.
  36. Book of Aisair.
  37. Book of Oghams.

The Book of Ballymote, so called from having been in the possession of the MacDonoughs at their castle of Ballymote in the county Sligo, or, according to others, from having been partly composed at the monastery of Ballymote, was compiled in the latter end of the fourteenth century, chiefly by Solamh O’Droma, or Solomon O’Drom, and Manus O’Duigenan, learned antiquaries and historians. Tomaltagh MacDonogh, lord of Tirerrill and Corran, in Sligo, was the patron of these learned men; and the Book of Ballymote remained a long time in the possession of this family, but was purchased from one of the MacDonoghs, in the year 1522, by Hugh Dubh, son of Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garv O’Donnell, of Donegal; the price given for the book being one hundred and forty milch cows. The Book of Ballymote is a large folio MS. on vellnm; it contains the ancient history of Ireland from the earliest period to the end of the fourteenth century, and is considered a very authentic work and of great authority. The original is deposited in the library of the Royal Irish Academy; and a copy of it, transcribed by Connellan, is in the library at Windsor. It is much larger than the original of The Book of Leinster.