The Psalter of Cashel

The Psalter of Cashel, an ancient Irish MS., partly in prose and partly in verse, was compiled in the latter end of the ninth century by the celebrated Cormac MacCullenan, Archbishop of Cashel and King of Munster. This MS. was compiled from the Psalter of Tarah, and other ancient records, and contained the history of Ireland from the earliest ages to the tenth century, to which some editions were made after the death of Cormac, bringing the work down to the eleventh century, as in the catalogue of the Archbishops of Armagh to that period; and it is stated by O’Halloran, in his History of Ireland, that the Psalter of Cashel was also called the Book of Munster; and that he had in his possession a copy of it, continued by some anonymous writer down to the reign of Mahon, King of Munster, in the latter end of the tenth century; and he also says, that the Psalter refers more particularly to the history of Munster, and the kings of the race of Heber. Keating quotes many passages from the Psalter of Cashel, of which he had a copy; and Ware mentions it as extant in his own time, and held in great estimation, and that he had got collections from it; Colgan, Dr. O’Connor, and Bishop Nicholson, also gave accounts of this celebrated work; and, in O’Reilly’s Irish Writers, at the year 908, he states that a large folio MS. in Irish, preserved in the Library of Cashel, was transcribed from the Psalter of Cashel, which was extant in Limerick in the year 1712. The original Psalter of Cashel, long supposed to be lost, is stated to be deposited in the Library of the British Museum in London, and copies of it are said to be in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and in the Duke of Buckingham’s Library at Stowe; but it is to be observed that there is much uncertainty as to those statements. However, with respect to the contents of the Psalter of Cashel, the greater part of it is to be found in the Books of Leacan and Ballymote.