BEG-ERIN, or BEGRIN, a small island

BEG-ERIN, or BEGRIN, a small island in Wexford harbour, in the parish of ARDCOLME, barony of SHELMALIER, county of WEXFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 2 ½ miles (N. E.) from Wexford, This island, of which the name signifies in the Irish language "Little Ireland," is situated in the northern part of Wexford harbour, and was, at a very early period, distinguished as the residence of St. Ibar, or Ivore, who, according to Ware and Archdall, founded here, in 420, a celebrated monastery for Canons Regular of the order of St. Augustine, over which he presided till his death. He established a school here, in which he instructed numerous scholars in sacred literature and various sciences, and was in such reputation for learning, as well as for the sanctity of his life, that he obtained the appellation of Doctor Begerensis; he died on the 23d of April, in the year 500, and was interred in the monastery. St. Aengus, in his litany, invokes 150 saints, all of whom were disciples of St. Ibar. Of the monastery there are no vestiges, unless the ruins of a small chapel, of which the rudeness of the masonry indicates a very remote antiquity, may be regarded as such.

In 1171, Robert Fitz-Stephen, after having been deceived into the surrender of his castle of Ferry-Carrig, and such of his garrison as were not perfidiously put to death, were brought to this place, where they were detained prisoners till the landing of Henry II. at Waterford, soon after which they were liberated by that monarch. The island was, in 1549, alienated by a fee-farm lease, at a rent of seven shillings, to James Devereux, and is now occupied by Henry Cooper, Esq., who has built a handsome rustic cottage for his residence, which is surrounded with thriving shrubberies and plantations. Mr. Cooper has made several improvements in farming and embanking; and his family, with one or two of his workmen, constitute the whole of the population of the island.

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