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and established colonies in it. From the teftimony of Ptolemy, we may with fome degree of certainty afirm, that the Belgæ poffeffed all the fouth-eaft parts of Ireland, and that they emigrated not from Britain, but from Belgic Gaul, and Germany.

The Picts feem to be the next ftrangers who fettled here. Stillingfleet from arguments hitherto unanswered, proves that they came from Scandinavia, and confequently were a Gothic or Scythic tribe. In the irifh chronicles we find that Lugaidh, an Irith monarch, efpoufed a Pictifh princess, fome what previous to A. D. 15; and that in 128, the Picts and Irifh joined in plundering the Roman provinces of Britain.

The Scots iffued from, and were a tribe of the fame fruitful Scythian hive; they rendered themselves remarkable by their conquefts and their ferocity, and repeatedly landed in Ireland, fometimes with the hopes of procuring booty, and at other times with the more daring intention of entirely fubjugating


Harald Harfagre, king of Norway, a prince fond of naval enterprizes, about 903 fitted out a well appointed fleet, under the command of his two fons, Thorgils and Trotho, with which they ravaged Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; thefe two brothers fettled in Dublin, and were the first Normen who reduced it under their power.

Our author very juftly obferves, that it is impoffible to write on a fubject like the prefent, with any degree of certainty, as a regular and connected feries of events, is only to be found in the chronology of polished ages.

11. The history and antiquities of Glendaloch, in the county of Wiek ow.-Glendaloch, or Glendalough, is fituate in the barony of Ballynacor, in the county of Wicklow, 22 miles fouth of Dublin, and from the earliest ages feems to have been a favourite feat of fuperftition. It is furrounded on all fides, except towards the eaft, by ftupendous mountains, which throw a gloom on the vale below, well fuited to infpire religious dread, and horror. The tribe of wild and ignorant favages who here first fixed their abode, deprived of the light of letters, and unoccupied in any amuling or profitable employment, were a prey to melancholy thoughts, and the bafeft paffions. Their fears animated every ruftling leaf, and whispering gale, and invifible beings multiplied with the objects of their fenfes. The gloomy vale, the dark cave, the thick foreft, and cloud-capt mountain, were the chofen feats of thefe aërial fpirits, and there they were fuppofed to celebrate their nocturnal orgies. Thefe idle fears could only be appeafed by the bold pretenfions of pagan priests to myftic and fupernatural powers, which were fuppofed capable of taming the most obstinate dæmon, and of protecting the terrified favage.


The first christian preachers among these barbarians chose to lay claim to the power of their predeceffors; they continued the reign of fuperftition, and only diverfified its form. Glendaloch had before been peopled with evil fpirits, and its lakes filled with great and devouring ferpents; the interpofition of fome faint was therefore neceffary, under whofe protection the inhabitants might live fecure from temporal and spiritual evils.

At a lofs for a patron, they adopted a practice, common throughout Europe in the dark ages, that of perfonifying rivers, mountains, &c. This cuftom had already reached Ireland; the Shannon was under the guardianship of St. Senanus; the town of Down, of St. Dunus; and the mountain Kevn at Glendaloch, was configned to the fpecial care of St. Kevin. The numerous miracles performed by this faint are fupported by the teftimony of a variety of writers, who propagated and perhaps believed them. We fhall content ourselves with quoting an inftance of the patience of this holy man ;

On a certain time putting his hand out of the window, and lifting it up to heaven according to cuftom, a black-bird perched on it, and ufing it as a neft, dropped her eggs there. The faint pitied the bird, and neither clofed or drew his hand in, but indefatigably kept it ftretched out until fhe brought forth her young.'

The reliques of St. Kevin brought a prodigious number of zealous and bigoted votaries to his fhrine, and a naked and barren wilderness was thus quickly adorned with churches and houfes.

111. The hiftory of the Irish Culdees: with the antiquities of Monaincha in the county of Tipperary-The celebrated monaftic order of the Culdees was founded in Ireland during the 6th century, by Columba, who is faid to have been defcended from an illuftrious family, and to have been born A. D. 522. He was educated at St. Finian's at Clonard, where he acquired the rudiments of that knowledge and difcipline, which were afterwards productive of fuch eminent advantages to christianity in Ireland, Scotland, and England. In 546, he founded the monaftery of Durrough, and eftablifhed fuch admirable rules for his monks, that they foon became as confpicuous for erudition as fanctity of manners, and were diftinguished by the honourable appellation of Culdees, which according to * Shaw, is derived from Ceil-de, or fervant of God. Poffeffing a powerful eloquence, and an unabating zeal, his talents acquired him fuch reputation, that he was called forth from the practice of afcetic virtues, to the regulation of state affairs. Having foon after inftigated a bloody war, without just cause, he abjured his native country, by a voluntary exile, and impofed on himself a miffion to the unconverted Picts; fuch was his fuccefs on this

* Hift. of Moray, p. 251.

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occafion, that the ifle of Hy, now called Iona, one of the Hebrides, was given him, on which he constructed a monaftery.

As to the Culdees, they are faid to have been diftinguished for a love of letters, and an inviolable attachment to religion, but their inftitutes being unfriendly to thofe of the church of Rome, their adverfaries who were devoted to that fee, have configned their name and tenets to oblivion. Like the British monks they fupported themfelves by the labour of their own hands; they usually married, but always abstained from their wives when it came to their turn to officiate.

Monaincha, or the boggy ifle, was one of their ancient feats; it lies about a mile fouth from the road leading from BorroffinOffory to Roscria, and is three miles diftant from the latter. The ruins of the Culdean abbey, &c. are accurately described by our author.

IV. Of the Ogham characters, and alphabetic elements of the antient Irish.--According to Keyzler, Oga, Ogum, and Ógma are old Celtic words implying letters written in cypher, and indirectly an occult fcience. In this article the author combats and rejects the pretenfions of his countrymen to an original alphabet. An engraved table contains a variety of Irish and British Ogums.

v. Of the antient Irifb coins: with the antiquities of Athaffel, in the county of Tipperary.-Here again Mr. Ledwich wounds the national pride of the Irish, by detracting from the antiquity

of their coins.

If coin,' fays he, is the criterion of civilization, the Irish through every period of their hiftory, muft have been little removed from barbarifm.'

He ridicules the unblufhing confidence of thofe who defcribe mints erected feveral hundred years before the incarnation, and yet cannot afford any fpecimen of their productions. He affirms that there was not any mint in Ireland antecedent to the 9th century, and that this was then introduced by the Oftmen, whofe coins were only current among themfelves; he even afferts that English money did not acquire currency before the middle of the 14th century. The following is a horrid picture of the manners and oppreffions of a former age.

• No man endeavoured to acquire property, when his children were not to inherit it. If one became wealthy through induftry, or other means, the arbitrary cuttings, feffings, and cofherings of his lord, foon reduced him to a level with his other beggarly flaves. This lord looked no farther than the fupport of barbarous magnificence and hofpitality he received his rents in butter, oatmeal, pork, and beeves. To fuch the English laws and English name carried an hated found, because it alarmed their pride and independence, and they feared with the lofs of dignity and poffeffions, an emancipation of their vaffals. In a word, their general policy and municipal regulations extinguished every inclination, and repreffed every motive to industry, manufac



tures, trade and wealth. Can we wonder then, at their having no coin of their own, or at their not defiring that of others?'

The Priory of Athaffel, was founded by William Fitz-Adelm de Burke, about the year 1200: the ruins of this building indicate its former magnitude and splendour.

VI. Obfervations on the fione-roofed chapels of the antient Irish: with the antiquities of Cafhel in the county of Tipperary.-Notwithftanding the boaftful tales of O'Connor and Lynch, it is here afferted that the Irish had neither domeftic edifices, nor religious ftructures of lime and ftone, antecedent to the great northern invafion in the 9th century. The church of St. Doulach, fituated about four miles eaft of Dublin, on the road to Malahide, has a double ftone roof. Near the church of Portaferry, ftands a chapel covered with a coved arch of ftone, so closely and firmly cemented, that it does not appear to admit the water. There is alfo a very antient crypt, in an ifle in the Shannon, not far from Killaloe, but that of the greatest magnitude, and best architecture, is Cormac's chapel at Cafhel, which stands on a high infulated rock. This, which is one of the most curious fabrics in these kingdoms, is faid to have a striking resemblance to the church of St. Peter at Oxford.

VII, A review of Irish literature in the middle age. The invafion of England by the Anglo-Saxons in the middle of the 5th century was an event extremely calamitous to that country, but productive of the happieft confequences to Ireland, by driving many learned and pious men thither, who promoted the ftudy of letters, and ftrengthened infant chriftianity among the inhabitants. Our author can discover no other adequate cause for the quick and rapid advances made by his countrymen in literature, but the emigration of the British clergy in this, and the next age, During the 6th century, the British clergy ftill continuing to fly from the exterminating fury of the AngloSaxon power, many who retired to this ifland, opened fchools, and facred and profane literature were cultivated in the Irish abbies; in that of Rofcarbury in the county of Cork, St. Brendon taught the liberal arts. The religious establishments. in the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries, together with the discouragement of literature by the Roman pontiffs, were circumstances that tended to make Ireland the fchool of learning to the western world. That illuftrious ornament of the imperial purple, Charles, fo juftly furnamed the Great, warmed with an ardent zeal to diffeminate knowledge throughout his extenfive dominions, attracted from all parts of Europe, and more especially from Ireland, men of the greatest reputation to fecond his views.

In the ninth century, the mufes began to defert their antient feat, and to feek protection in foreign climates from the Oftman invafion. In the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries, Ireland ftill B 3


preferved her literary reputation, although she could not escape the contagion and infelicity of the times.

Ofbern, a monk of Canterbury, obferves that learning muft have been natural to the Irish from long habit, and that there were many and illustrious men among them admirably inftructed in facred and prophane literature. We fhall be the better able to eftimate the value of this eulogium, by knowing that Ofbern is praifed by an excellent judge for the beauty and eloquence of his Latin ftyle, and for his matchlefs fkill in mufic.'



Thus we fee,' adds the author, towards the conclufion of this article, that the viciffitudes of human affairs, had not for many ages obfcured our literature, or drawn over this favoured ifle the dark veil of ignorance or illiteracy. But what neither domeftic convulfions, the ravages of barbarians, or all-devouring time could effect, was quickly accomplished by the establishment of a corrupt, religion. We no fooner embraced that of Rome, than we loft our genius and our fuperiority.

The antiquities of Devenish in the county of Fermanagh.— Devenish, corrupted from Dav-inis, or the Ox's eye, is an ifland in Lough Erne, a few miles diftant from Enniskillen, St. Laferian founded a monaftery there in 563.

We learn from Ufher and Ware, that it was originally a Culdean eflablishment, where the celebrated difciples of St. Columba, continued to exercise their piety and virtue, till overborne by fuperftition, and an intolerant religion. The oldeft erections here, are St. Morlaife's house, and a fine round tower, both probably coeval. These I apprehend were Dano-Hibernian works.'

VIII. Of the ancient forts and cafles in Ireland; 'with the antiquities of Dunamafe and Ley Cafile, in the Queen's county.-Our author is of opinion, that from the mode of life, and the paucity of the Celtes (the primeval poffeffors of Ireland) they had not much need of forts, as there did not exift many causes of jealoufy or war; he does not however deny their capability of fecuring themselves or their property by earthen works. On the arrival of the Firbolgs, a feries of hoftilities immediately commenced between the new and the old inhabitants, and rifing grounds and conical hills began to be preferred, as more defenfible, and lefs liable to furprife. The raths were elevated fpots, fome measuring not more than ten or fifteen yards in diameter, while others contained eighteen or twenty English acres, in proportion to the power, and property of the Toparch. Round the fortifications that enclofed thefe, the clan refided, and within them they retreated from danger. The dun or din was another kind of fort, and the fame as the Welch dinas ; this was originally an infulated rock. Daingean is a Celtic word, anfwering to the Teutonic bawen, or English bawn, from its being conftructed, and fecured by branches of trees,

* Guil, Malmfb. de Reg. Ang. c. 8.


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