An ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an online

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Online LibraryUnknownAn ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an → online text (page 1 of 45)
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BR79ii.L3 1829 y.4
Ecclesiastical history ^f irp
Ecclesiastical history of Ire






























Several hish monasteries founded in Germany'^
Monastery of St. Peter at Ratisbon founded by
Marianus an Irishman — DomnuSy an Irishnan^
first abbot of the monastery of St, James at Ra-
tisbon — John, a7i Irish7nan, bishop of Meek ten-
burgh, martyi^ed by the apostate Sclavonians —
Death of Marianus Scotus the chronographer —
Death of Moel-Iosa archbishop of Armagh —
Domnald bishop of Armagh makes a visitation of
Munster a?id other parts of Ireta7id — Battle of
Magh'Choba — Death of Domnald— Samuel bishop
of Dublin elected by Mortogh O'Brien and the
clergy and people of Dublin, and consecrated by
Ansebn archbishop of Canterbury — Waterford
erected into a Bishoprick — Malchus, its first
bishop, consecrated by Anselm — Assembly of the
clergy and people of Ireland at Cashel, in which
king Mortogh made over that seat of the Munster
kings to God and the church— Donald, nephew of
Mortogh, made king of Mann and the Hebrides^r^
Gillibert bishop of Limerick e^ideavoiirs to reduce
the various liturgies in Ireland to 07ie uniform
system— Celsus, or Ceallach, archbishop of Ar-



magh, endeavours to stop the hereditary succession
by which that See had been injured — Sy72od of
Fiodh'ViaC'Aengusa — Sy7}od of Rath- Breasailjor
regulating the dioceses i7i Ireland-^-Gregory Jirst
archbishop of Dublin.


In this century, nnd somewhat Liter, several Irish
monasteries were founded in Germany. Of that of
Erford we have seen already. (1) The next was
that of St. Peter's in a suburb of Ratisbon, the
occasion of which was as follows, Marianus, (2)
who must not be confounded with the chronographer
Marianus Scotus, a very handsome man, learned in
divine and human knowledge, and eloquent, was a
native of the North of Ireland, and went to Ger-
many in 1 067 or 1 068 accompanied by some persons,
among whom are particularly mentioned John and
Candidus. It is said that they were first received by
Otto, bishop of Ratisbon, (3) with whom they re-
mained for one year in the clerical habit. After-
wards they became Benedictine monks in the mo-
nastery of St. Michael near Bamberg. Wishing to
go to Rome they stopped on their way at Ratisbon,
where was at that time, and for many years before,
an Irish recluse named Muricherdac, or Murcherat,
who lived in a cell without being a member of any
monasteiy. (4) They were received by the abbess
Hennna, whose nunnery was, it seems, near Muricher-
dac*s cell. Marianus communicated his intention of
visiting Rome to that holy man, who advised him to
pray to Ciod to direct him, whether it would be bet-
ter to do so or to remain at Ratisbon. On the follow-
ing night, as is said, Marianus being asleep thought
he was desired to stop and spend the remainder of
his life in the place, where the rising sun would first
slnne upon him. The next morning he set out with


his companions for the purpose of going to Rome,
but, when outside of the city, stopped for a wlnle in
St. Peter's church, and prayed there for a prosperous
journey. Having finished his prayer, and just as he
was coming out of the church, the rays of the rising
sun struck his eyes, upon which, recollecting his
dream, he determined on not proceeding further,
and, together with his companions, throwing himself
on his knees thanked God for having pointed out to
him the place, where he should live and die. When
this circumstanee was made known to the abbess
Hem ma, she made over to Marian us and his brethren
the church of St. Peter, and got her grant con-
firmed by Henry IV. then king of Germany. Se-
veral pious and liberal citizens, among whom one
Bezelin distinguished himself, contributed towards
building for them a monastery. (5)

(1) Chap. XXIV. §.2.

(2) The Bollandists Iiave at 9 February a Life of Marlanus from
a, copy taken by Father Gamansius a Jesuit from a MS. of a Car-
thusian monastery. The author was an Irish monk of Ratisbon,
and lived in the 12th century. He says, that he knew Isaac one
of Marianus' monks, who lived to the age of 120 years, and
speaks of various Irishmen of said century, and of Irish monaste-
ries founded after the death of Marianus. In fact his work is ra-
ther a history of several Irish monasteries established in Germany,
commencing with that of St. Peter's of Ratisbon, than a Life of
Marianus. Having observed that the Irish were accustomed to
visit foreign countries, and touched upon Mansuetus, St. Fatriclv,
Columbkill, Fursey, Columbanus, Galius, &c. he enters upon his
subject, which is all through relative to the affairs of Irish monks
exclusively. In the account of Marianus and his companions, and
of other Irishmen either his contemporaries, or later than him,
who in those times became distinguished in Gemiany, I shall
chiefly follow tliis tract together with the learned commentary pre-
fixed to it by the Bollandists.

(3) This Otto is in the Life of Marianus called, by mistake,
bishop of Bamberg, He had been indeed a canon of Bamber)|;

B 2


but he was bishop of Ratisbon from 1060 to 1089. The Otto,
bishop of Bamberg, was not so until 1102 several years after the
death of Marianus. The Bollandists think, that Marianas and
his companions went in die first place to Bamberg. Usher was
greatly mistaken in placing (^Lid. Chron.) the arrival of Maria-
nus and his companions at Ratisbon as late as A. 1090.

(4.) Colgan treats (at 17 January) of Muricherdac chiefly from
Raderus, Bavaria sancta. The Bollandists observe, that he had
no authority for placing him at that day.

(5) See Raderus cp. Colgan, io.

§. IT. The companions of Marianus, whom I find
mentioned on this occasion, were John, Candidus,
and Clemens. (6) Muricherdac did not join him-
self to them, but continued in his cell until his
death, whiclv is conjectured to have occurred about
A. D, 1080. Yet he may be considered as the fa-
ther of this monastery , for it was owing to the
great veneration in which he was held, that his
countrymen Marianus, &c. were encouraged and
enabled to establish it. As soon as it was known in
Ireland that this monastery v/as formed, several per-
sons from tlie North, whence Marianus himself was,
went over to Ratisbon and were received by him, so
that the community gradually became numerous.
Some time after its being well established, Clemens
went to Jerusalem, where he died ; and John with-
drew to Austria, where he became a recluse on
Mount Kottvvich. One of Marianus' chief occu-
pations, and probably of liis monks, according to the
old practice of those of Ireland, was the transcribe
ing of books, of which he left a great number in Jiis
handwriting. He drew up some commentaries on
the Psalms, which, as he tells us in the preface, he
collected from various Fathers of the Church, and
put into one book, in honour of our Saviour, the
Blessed Virgin, and St. Erard, in the year 1074,
the seventh of his peregrination. (7) It is said,
that Marianus died in 1088 j but on what day


is not known. (8) After him there were six abbots
of St. Peter's monastery, all from the North of Ire-
land, until Domnus, who was from the South, be-
came the first abbot of the new monastery of St.
James, which the Irish monks erected in the city of
Ratisbon, after the beginning of the 12th century,
and to which that of St. Peter's became subor-
dinate, and from which several others were derived,
as will be seen in the account of that period. Yet
I may be allowed to observe in this place, that, al-
though the Irish monastery of Vv'^ntzburg is usually
reckoned among those founded after St. James' of
Ratisbon, there is reason to think that it existed,
perhaps on a smaller scale, several years prior to that
of St. James itself. (9)

(6) Raderus omits Ciemeii-s who is named in the Life pub*-
Jished by the Bollandists. Some others are spoken of; but it is
more probable, that they were not with Mariamis from the begin-
ning. The Bollandists observe, that Donatus, who is reckoned
among them by Aventinus, is not mentioned by any other author.
Aventinus supposed, that Marianu^ of Ratisbon was the same as
Marianus Scotus, and had led astray Usher^ (see Pr. p. 736. )
who afterwards corrected himself {ih. p, I060)»

(Y) Aventinus quotes said preface from a M$. of a monastery
of Ratisbon. Part of it is as follows ; '•' Anno Dominicae Incar-
nationis 1074 — Marianus Scotus septimo peregrinationis suae anna
collegit modicas istas undas de profundo sanctorum, Patrum pe-
lago, scilicet Hieronymi, Augustini, Cassiodori, Arnobii, et de
opusculis S. Gregorii ; et pro suae animae salute in honorem Sal-
vatoris," &c. These must be the Commentaries on the Psalms,
which some \mters have attributed to Marianus the chronogra-
pher ; but they could not liave been written by him ; for the year
1074 was much later than the seventh of his peregrination or ab-
sence from Ireland. It is true that the author of them also calls
himself Scatus ; but all the Irish of that period vvere so denomi-
nated in the continent. Ware has not this Marianus among the
Irish writers ; but Harris, who lived later and had better opportu-


nities lor knowing something about him, ought not to have omitted

(8) Raderus assigned his death to said year, which the Bollan-
dists consider as probable. As to the day, they could not detef-
mine any tiling, although Gamansius found the date V. idus Febr,
(9th of Februaiy) added in the M5. whence he copied the so called
Life of Marianus.

(9) We have seen, {Chap, xxiv. §. 5.) that Gilda-na naomh,
bishop of Glendaloch, became abbot of the monks o^ Wmtzburg,
and died there in 1085. If there be not some mistake in this date,
it must be allowed that there was an Irish establishment in that
city before the foundation of St. James's of Ratisbon, which is
rendered probable also by the circumstance of its apostle St. Kilian
liaving been an Irishman.

§. III. Among several martyrs, who were put to
death hy the apostate inhabitants of the old Sclavonia,
we find a venerable Irishman, John bishop of Meck-
lenburgh. To what has been said of him elsewhere
(10) we have to add, that he had arrived in the north
of Germany in the year 1057, where he was well
received by Adalbert, archbishop of Bremen, who
appointed him, seemingly about 1062, bishop of
Mecklenburgh, and directed him to Gothescale^
prince of those Sclavonians, who was exceedingly
zealous for the propagation of the faith among his
subjects. John converted and baptized many thou-
sands of them. But the pagan and apostate part of
that ferocious nation, having killed Gothescale and
several priests, monks, and lay Christians in 10(35,
seized upon John, and after cruelly beating him with
sticks carried him about as a show through all their
towns. Stopping at Rethre, their capital, and find-
ing him still inflexible in confessing Jesus Christ,
they cut off his feet and hands, and at length his
head, on the 10th of November in said year. Hav-
ing thrown the body into the street, they placed the
head oh a pike, which they carried about as a mark


of triumph, and then immolated to their god Redi-
gast. (11)

The chronographer Marianus Scotus, whom we
left at Fiilda, where he spent ten years, (12) was
removed thence, by order of the bishop of Mentz
and of the abbot of Fiilda, in the year 1069, on the
Friday before Pahn Sunday, third of April, and
went to Mentz, where he was again shut up on the
10th of July. (13) He remained there as a recluse
until 1086, in which year he died and was buried at^
St. Martin's of Mentz without the city. (14) His
reputation for piety was very great ; and as to learn-
ing he has been ever since considered as one of the
first men of his times. The chronicle, which he
continued down to A, D, 1085, exceeds any thing
of the kind, which the middle ages have produced^
and would appear still more respectable, were it pub-
lished entire. He has left also Notes on all the
Epistles of St. Paul annexed to a copy of them trans-
cribed by himself in the year 1079, which is extant
in the Imperial library of Vienna. Said notes, al-
though well worthy of the light, have not, as far as
I know, been as yet published. (15) It may be con-
jectured, that he was author also of some excellent
anonymous Notes on the Gospel of St. Mark, which
are to be found in said library. (16) As to the
commentaries on the Psalms, which have been as-
cribed to him, they were in all probability no otlier
than those, that were written by his namesake of
Ratisbon. (17)

(10) Chap. XXI. <^. 11.

(11) See Fleury, Hist. Eccl L. 61. <^. 17. and L. 60. f S^,
Although John is called by Fleury Ecossois in consequence of
his having been named by some writers a ScotiiSj according to the
usual denomination of the Irish of those times in the continent,
yet there can be no doubt but that he was a native of Ireland.
Trithemius says in the Chronicon Hirsaugiense at A, 1064, that
in these times came John a monk from Ireland, that he preached


with great zeal in the territory \x£ Mecklenburgh, and was placed
by the Pope as bishop over the people of that country, where he
received the crown of mart}Tdom. Trithemius' words are quoted
and followed by Menard in the Benedictine martyrology. (See
Colgan, A A. SS. pA07.) Adam of Bremen makes mention of
John more than once, and relates his martjTdom, Histor. Ecdes,
Z. 4. c. 12. See also Mabillon, Antial. Bened, ad A. 1065.

(12) See Chap. xxiv. §. 3.

(13) Marianus has at ^.1069; " Ego miser Marianus, jussu
episcopi Moguntiensis et abbatis Fuldensis, feria 6 ante Palmas, 3
nonis Aprilis, post annos decern meae inclusionis solutus, de clusa
in Fulda ad Mogimtiam veni et in festivitate Septem fratrum se-
cundo includor."

(14) Dodechin, the continuator of Marianus' chronicle, writes
at A. 1086; " Marianus Scotus et inclusus obiit, et apud sanc-
tum Maitinum sepelitur." See also Mabillon, Annal. Ben, ad A,

(15) We owe the knowledge of this valuable MS. to Lambe-
cius, who infoniis us, ( Comment de BibUoth, Caes. Vindohon L.
2. cap. 8. p. 74'9.) that it is the 49th among the Latin theological
MSS. " quo (he says) continentur omnes Epistolae S. Pauli
" apostoli celeberrimi chronographi Mariani Scoti, monachi Ful-
" densis, propria manu anno Christi 1079 exaratae, et ab eodem
" annotationibus marginalibus et interlinearibus, hactenus quidem
** nondum , editis, editu tamen dig}iissimis, illustratae ; in quarum
" fine haec ipsius legitur subscriptio : Explicit Epistola ad He*
*' braeoSy habens versus DCCC In honore Individuae Trinita"
*' tis Marianus Scottus scrlpsit hunc Ubrnm suis J'ratribus pert'
•* gHnis. Anima ejus requiescat in pace^ propter Deum devote
*' dicite, Amen. xvi. KaL Juniiy hodie feria vi. anno Domini
" MLXX Villi." At fol. 10 of said MS. are these words in his
handwriting; " x Kal, April, anno Domini MLXXVIIII Ma-
*' riani miseri Domine miserere." It might be suspected that this
Marianus was the one of Ratisbon, of whom above ; but his styling
himself miseri is sufficient to show, that he was the chronographer,
who was in the habit of calling himself miser Marianus^ as may
be seen in his chronicle at A. 1028 and 1069.

(16) Lambecius just betbre his account of the MS. of St. Paul's
Epi<;tl*»s, &c. makes mention of a copy of the Gospel of St. Mark


illustrated with very good marginal and interlinear annotations. It
appeared to him as written about 600 years before his time ; and
he adds that the handwriting is very like that of the MS, now
spoken of. This, however, is not a sufficient proof for attributing
it to Marianus.

(17) See above NoL 7. Concerning some other works attri-
buted to him, but without sufficient authority, the reader may con-
sult Harris, Writers at Marianus.

§. IV. Moeliosa, archbishop of Armagh, having
held the see for ^7 y^ars, (18) died after a long
course of penance on the 20th of December, A. D.

1091 ; (19) and his place was immediately occupied
by Domnald, son of Amalgaid, and in all appearance
a brother of Moeliosa. (20) Nothing is said of his
election ; and it is sufficiently clear, that lie usurped
that situation in virtue of the pretended abominable
right of hereditary succession. He was one of those
lay pseudo-archbishops, who v/ere a disgrace to
Armagh and to the whole Irish church. Yet in

1092 he made a visitation of Kinel-Eoguin or the
O'Neill's country of Tyrone, and in 1094 of Mun-
ster and other parts of Ireland ; (21) a visitation,
which could not be of a spiritual nature, but merely
for the purpose of exacting dues according to what
was called the Law of St Patrick, During his
incumbency great abuses prevailed in various parts of
Ireland, and to add to the evils caused by bad men, a
dreadful plague raged in 1095, which swept away a
vast number of people. To guard against further
misfortunes, which the whole nation was apprehen-
sive of, and which some persons had pretended to
foretel, it was resolved by Domnald and the clergy
of all Ireland, that during every month of the year
1096 a fast should be observed from Wednesday until
the following Sunday, and that only one meal should
be allowed on every day of the whole year, excepting
Sundays and the great festivals. The people wil-
lingly submitted to this regulation, became fervent


in their prayers, and made many pious offerings,
while the kings, princes, and nobles endowed churches,
heretofore distressed, with lands and immunities. (^2!^)
In 1099 Coencomrach O'Boigill, or Boil, was con-
secrated on Whit-sunday suffragan or acting bishop
for the see of Armagh. (23) Who was his imme-
diate predecessor in that capacity, I do not find re-
corded. Domnald greatly exerted himself towards
putting a stop to the wars, that raged in Ireland
between the northern and southern princes, whom
he induced in said year 1099 to abstain from an in-
tended great battle and to conclude a truce for one
yeai'. (24) In 1101 he prevailed on Domnald
Mac Lochlin to discharge out of prison Donat
O'Heochadha, prince of Ulidia, an eastern territory
of Ulster, and in 11 0*2 procured a truce for one year
between that powerful king and Murtogh O'Brian.
(25) But they quarrelled again in 1103, and Mur-
togh marched into Ulster with a great army, consist-
ing of the forces of Leth-mogha, and, having be-
sieged Armagh for some time, and committed various
depredations, at length fought the famous battle of
Magh-Choba in Tyrone, in which he was defeated
with great loss by Domnald Mac-Lochlin and the
northerns. (26) The archbishop, as he was called,
still endeavoured to prevent a renewal of such dread-
ful occurrences, and accordingly went to Dublin in
1105 (27) for the purpose of establishing a durable
peace between those two kings. He was there taken
grievously ill, and was conveyed, on his way to
Armagh, to the church of Domnach-airthir-emhna,
where he received Extreme unction, and thence to
Armagh, where he died on the 1 2th of August in
said year and was honourably buried (28) Domnald
was succeeded by Celsus on the 23d of September

(18) Chap. XXIV. $.4.

(10) 7/-. Th, p. 299. Ware ( Bhhnp.'i at Maclisa) has 24


December, A. 1092. Whether the day was 20 or 24, is of
little consequence; but he had no right to change the year
1091 into 1092. O'Flaherty in his MS. catalogue has retained

(20) Tr. Th. ib.

(21) Ib, According to the Annals of Innifallen at A, 1094 he
made a tour of all Ireland.

(22) See Tr. Th. ib. and Annals of Innisfallen at A, 1095-
1096. In the Tr, Th. it is said, that a bad omen, connected with
a sort of prophecy, was taken from the circumstance '^ of the feast
of St. John the Baptist (not that of his nativity, but that of his de-
collation, 29 August) being to fall in 1096 on a Friday. Con-
cerning this silly cause of alarm the Annals now referred to
have nothing ; nor could it have had any weight except with
fools. There were motives enough for dreading the divine ven-
geance and for repenting, without recurring to such an idle spe-

(23) Tr. Th. ib. and Ware, Armagh at Donald,

(24) Tr. Th, ib, and Annals of Innisfallen at 1099.

(25) Tr, Th, ib, Murtagh had in the preceding year ravaged
the territories of Domnald, and destroyed his palaces of Oighleach,
or Aileach, and of Coleraine.

^ (26) Annals of Innisfallen at A. 1103, Magh-Choba, or the
plain of Choba, was in Tyrone (see Colgan's Topographical index
to Tr. Th,) and was probably where the village now called Coagh
is situated. Harris is quite vnrong in stating, (Archbishops of
Armagh at Donald) that the truce, which said Donald had brought
about in 1102, was kept on foot by him until 1106.

(27) Ware, still persisting in his system of adding a year to the
dates, has changed 1105 into 1106; but O'Flaherty (MS, cata-
logue) has retained it.

(28) Tr, Th. p. 299. Colgan says, (ib, p, 272.) that there
was a church called Domnach-airthir in the diocese of Armagh ;
but he does not tell us in what part of it. Ware gives a different
account of Domnald's death, according to which he fell sick
on his return to Armagh and died at Duleek, whence his re-
mains were carried to Armagh. He adds that Domnald was 68
years of age.


§. V. Donatus or Donogli O^Haingly, bishop of
Dublin, who died of the plague in 1095, (29) had
for successor his nephew Samuel O'Haingly, who
had been a Benedictine monk of St. Alban's in
England, and of whom an old writer gives us
the following circumstantial account. *' In the
** year 1095 there came to Anselm a certain monk
** of the monastery of St. Alban's, an Irishman,
** named SamueL Upon the death of Donatus, of
•* happy memory, bishop of the city of Diibiin, he
♦' was elected by Murierdach (Murtogh O'Brian)
** and the clergy and people to the bishopric of that
** city, and by a general decree directed, according
«* to old custom^ to Anselm, to be consecrated by
** him. Anselm assenting to their election and pe-
** tition, having kept this man with himself for
** some time in an honorable manner, and diligently
** instructed him how he should conduct himself in
** in the house of God, received from him his pro-
** fession of canonical obedience according to old
** custom, and promoted him to the episcopal office
" at Winchester on the octave of the following Eas-
** ter, being assisted by four of his suffragan bi-
** shops. This new prelate, strengthened by the
*• benediction of so great a father, and by his let-
" ters to the aforesaid king and to the clergy and
" people of Ireland, written as testimonials of his
" consecration, returned to his country with joy,,
" and was received in his see with honour according
** to the usage of that land " (30) Samuel's pro-
fession was in these terms ; *' I Samuel, chosen for
** the government of the church of Dublin, which is
** situated in Ireland, and to be consecrated bishop
*« by thee, Reverend father Anselm, archbishop of
•* the holy church of Canterbury, and primate of
** all Britain, do promise, that 1 will observe cano-
*' nical obedience in all things to thee and all thy
"successors." (.'31) Of Samuel's proceedings I
find very little recorded except some circumstances


mentioned in a letter written to him by Ansel m,
(32) in which he complains, 1. that Samuel freely
disposed of and gave to strangers the books, gar-

Online LibraryUnknownAn ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an → online text (page 1 of 45)