Prosopographica Glindelachensis: The Monastic Church of Glendalough and its Community Sixth to Thirteenth Centuries (Part 2 - published in 1989)

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Original article published in: The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 119 (1989), pp. 79-97.

Introduction (to article)

The monastic civitas of Glendalough evolved from the small ascetic community in the upper valley, the foundation of which is traditionally ascribed to St Coemgen (or Kevin).

In the centuries following the patron’s death, the focus of settlement gradually shifted towards the more hospitable lower valley (Price 1940, 252ff, 264, 268-71; Price 1945-67, i, 38-48; cf Barrow 1972, 12-20 where an east-west progression of settlement is argued). Once established near the lower lake, the monastic complex continued to be augmented by further foundations up to the twelfth century, continuing as an ecclesiastical and commercial centre into the fourteenth century (Gwynn and Hadcock 1970, 80-1; Barrow 1972, 47; Manning 1984, 344, 346). As noted in regard to certain other major monastic settlements, development from ceremonial complex towards a proto-urban stage with lay population and a thriving economy made the abbacy of such churches seem an attractive prize to aspiring dynasties (Doherty 1985, 64-8). The earliest evidence of direct political intervention at Glendalough relates to an apparent intrusion by the Uí Máil king Cellach mac Gerrthide in the early eighth century. The abbatial record for the ninth and tenth centuries includes several members of the South-Wicklow Uí Enechglaiss, along with an occcasional dual-abbot from Tallaght or Clonmacnois. The occurrence of these latter may represent an attempt by the community to avoid political domination through association with an outside independent house. By the eleventh century, the Ui Muiredaig dynasty of North Leinster were striving to manipulate the affairs of the monastery. In 1031, they blinded the then abbot, Cathasach Ua Cathail, who belonged to a local kindred of Uí Mail descent. From 1106, Uí Muiredaig increasingly dominated the abbacy at the expense of Uí Cathail. The former dynasty, whose most distinguished ecclesiastic was Lorcán Ua Tuathail (St Laurence, d. 1180), retained a hold on the abbacy into the second third of the thirteenth century, by which time the abbacy had been superseded by an Augustinian priorate subject to the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dublin. The aim of the present paper is to provide a comprehensive catalogue of all recorded members of the monastic community from its foundation until the mid-thirteenth century.


Bl. Aedan Mac Maine

The only reference to Aedan as Bishop of Glendalough occurs in the Boruma Saga where, in a prelude to the Battle of Dun Bolg in 598, Aedan offers to mediate between Aed Mac Ainmirech, king of Tara, and Brandub, king of Leinster. When Aedan’s overtures are spurned, he curses Aed and counsels Brandub (LL 301a-303a, 1296-1300; SG i, 372-8; ii, 410-14). The date seems early for a Bishop of Glendalough, but if Coemgen died at an advanced age he may have been predeceased by one or more bishops. The martyrologies record at 12 Feb. (MT, MG, MD) Aedan of Cluain Dartada (perhaps Td. Tullygorey near Athy – AR index, 372) who, in turn, is associated with Coemgen and other Dal Messin Corb saints by a note in MO at 11 Feb. The tract Comainmnigud includes both the latter and a certain Aedan Ua nGarrchon (LL 366e, 1659; CGSH, 140). They may be identical. Alternatively, two individuals are intended, with some confusion arising from the later absorption of Cluain Dartada into the paruchia of Glendalough, the church being reckoned among the possessions of the abbacy in the late 12th century (AR, 2, ff. 21b[l], 92[2] etc). In that case, Aedan Ua nGarrchon most likely represents the cleric here discussed. It is significant that a church known as Cell Espuicc Aedain was located in the vicinity of Holy wood, county Wicklow, an area closely linked with Coemgen (see above, Al). Aedan’s pedigree makes him a son of Maine, son of Fergus Laebderg and hence a kinsman of Coemgen (LL 350a, 1554; Ui M. 52vb; BB 220b; Lee. 43rab; LB 17d; Laud 610. 270 – see CGSH, 31; GRSH, 85, cap. 20.4). Significantly, his mother, Brigid was a daughter of Cobtach, an early Ui Cennselaig dynast (Bansh., 218). He may be included among the familia Coemgeni of Litany I as Aedan frater Coemain mac Congnaid (LL 373b, 1699; IrLit, 56; cf the second litany LL 373d, 1700; IrLit, 64, which invokes ‘ind Romanaig im Aedan i Cluain Dartada’). The tract Nomina Episcoporum includes a Bishop Aedan (LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 135), but supplies no details.

B2. Sillan

Sillan is titled ‘epscop Glinne da Loch’ in the martyrologies at 10 Feb. (MT, MG, MD). He may be the Mo Shinu moccu Lugair listed in Comainmnigud (LL 368f, 1672; CGSH, 152), or the Sillan moccu Loigde whose pedigree makes him a son of Failbe, descendant of Lugaid (LL351a, 1561; CGSH, 128). He is almost certainly the Silan (sic) Epscop included with Coemgen”‘s familia in Litany I (LL 373b, 1699; IrLit, 56). Another Sillan or Mo Shinu of Glenn Munaire is named in Comainmnigud and recorded in the martyrologies at 21 July (MT, MG). His foundation was absorbed into the paruchia of Glendalough and is included among the 12th century possessions of the abbacy. There is a St Kevin’s well at the site (Turner 1983, cap 23). The prelate of Glendalough is probably one of the two bishops named Sillan in Nomina Episcoporum (LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 135). The obit entered for 603 – Quies Sillain Epscoip (AI 603) – may be his. Certainly, it is not associated with the better documented clerics of that name: Sillan of Bangor d. 612, of Moville d. 622 or of Daminis d. 660. It could, however, represent Sillan of Glenn Munaire if he had episcopal orders. The bishop here discussed may also be associated with Cell Epscoip Sillain, listed among the 12th century possessions of the abbacy and possibly located in the vicinity of Bray (Turner 1983, cap 21; Price 1945-67, V, 335).

B3. Molibbo

The martyrologies associate Molibbo with Glendalough at 8 Jan. (MT, MG, MD). MT adds that he was son of Colmad and brother of Dagan (of Inber Daeile), a tradition repeated in De Matris (LL 372c, 1695) where Caeltigern, a sister of Coemgen, is named as mother of the four sons of Colmad, all of whom founded churches in East county Wicklow. An alternative tradition gives their mother’s name as ‘Coemoc siur Caemgin’ and lists the sons of Colmad with ‘Mo Lipa moccu Araide de Dal Araide’ added on (LL 373a, 1697). Likewise, Litany I mentions Mo Libba moccu Araide (LL 373b, 1699; IrLit, 56). Either the Glendalough bishop came from an Ulster kindred or there was a like named Dal Messin Corb cleric, the two traditions becoming confused. Nomina Episcoporum includes E. Mo Libba (LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 135), without further elaboration. In the 12th century, Cell Molibbo is listed among the possessions of the abbacy (AR, 2, f.21b[l]). It may be identified with Castletimon, Par. Dunganstown, county Wicklow. There is a tradition which represents Molibbo as a successor of Coemgen, implying that he held the abbacy (Ronan 1928, 132).

B4. Anfudán

Titled ‘epscop Glinne da Locha’ in the martyrologies at 11 Jan. (MT, MG, MD), Anfudan is included in Nomina Episcoporum (LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 135).

B5. Ruifín

The martyrologies commemorate Ruifin at 22 April (MT, MG, MD). A gloss in Gorman, incorporated into the text of MD, adds ‘epscop Glinne da Locha ocus Bennchoir’. This dual episcopate is not mentioned in other sources. Nomina Episcoporum includes E. Rifin (sic LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 135), while ‘Rutin anchorita’ is mentioned in Litany I (LL373b, 1699; IrLit, 56).

B6. Colmán Cerbb

The bishop-abbot who died in 660 (see above, A3). He is titled epscop in his obit in CS and also in a gloss in MG, at 12 Dec, incorporated into the text of MD.

B7. Dairchell moccu Riatai

The bishop-abbot who died in 678 (see above, A4). All the annals title him epscop, likewise a gloss in MG at 3 May. Nomina Episcoporum includes E. Dairchill (LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 135).

B8. Etirscel Mac Cellaig

This bishop-abbot, who died in 814 (see above, A14), follows a long break in the record of episcopal succession. The annals title him epscop.

B9. Dungal Mac Baethine

Another bishop-abbot. He died in 904 with the titles episcopus princeps (see above, A19).

BIO. Cormac Mac Fitbrain

The bishop-abbot who died in 927 (see above, A20). AU titles him episcopus. Bll. Nuada The obit of Nuada is entered for 930 (CS 929; AFM 928; AClon 925), with the title epscop.

B12. Muiredach Ua Manchain?

The obit of this bishop is recorded for 1033 (CS 1031; AFM 1033). AFM elaborates on the entry and notes the death of two similarly named clerics. One Muiredach Ua Maonachain (sic) is simply titled ‘uasal epscop’, no see is mentioned. The other, an Ua Manchain, is described as ‘comarba Cron&in’. It is unclear whether he was abbot of Ros Cre or of Clondalkin, where Glendalough had a vested interest (above, Al). Given the similarity of the two surnames and recalling the prominence of an Ua Manchain kindred at Glendalough in the lOth-llth C, it is possible that the episcopal obit relates to the latter site, (see above, A28).

B13. Maelbrigde Ua Maeilfind

The obit of Maelbrigde is recorded at 1041 (AFM only), where he is titled ‘saccart, angcoire ocus epscop’. Ui Mael Finni were a branch of Ui Mugroin i Maigh Liphi (LL 314d, 1348; BB 130b; Lee. 90ra; Rawl B 502. – see CGH, 64), descended from Flann da Chongal.

B14. Cele Mac Donnaccain?

Acclaimed as ‘cenn crabaid Erenn’ in the annals, Cele died at Glendalough in 1076 (AU 1076; Al 1076; AFM 1076). AFM adds the title ‘espog Laigen’, which Mac Airt observes and equates with ‘Bishop of Glendalough’ (Al, 232 n.2). A grave slab from Reefert Burial Ground, now illegible but which was formerly read as ‘or do.Do[nn]ogg . . .’, may commemorate this bishop. It was included by Lionard in his ‘Group 6: expansional crosses’, a style which extended from the 10th to the 12th century., but which peaked in the eleventh century (Lionard 1961, 129, 135 [fig. 26.10], 167).

B15. Cormac Ua Mail

The obit of Cormac ‘espoc Glinne da Locha’ is entered at 1101 (AFM).

B16. Aed Ua Modain

Aed’s obit is recorded at 1126 (AFM only). As he most likely held the episcopate at the time of the Synod of Raith Bresail, he is accepted as the first diocesan bishop of Glendalough (Byrne 1984, 313).

B17. Ua Noidenain?

An unnamed bishop of Glendalough was ‘spiritual father’ to St Lorcan and died some years prior to the latter’s promotion to the abbacy (VL, 130-2, ??3-4; see above, A39). Professor Byrne has suggested (1984, 313 n. 6) that this cleric may possibly be identified with the bishop Ua Noidenain, whose obit is recorded at 1148 (AFM).

B18. Gilla na Naem Laignech

The obit of Gilla na Naem is misplaced by AFM (entered at 1085), as noted by Plummer (VL, 182). Gilla na Naem was present at the Synod of Kells in 1152 as bishop of Glendalough (F. Feasa ii, 165, Pont H i, 171, n.5). The see became vacant when Lorcan was aged twenty-nine, i.e. in 1157 (VL, 135-6, ?7; see above A39), which probably marks the departure of Gilla na Naem for Wurzburg. He died there as head of the Schottenkloster on 7 April (AFM) c. 1160.

B19. Cinaed Ua Ronain

The obit of Cinaed is noted at 1173 (AU, ATig, AFM). He belonged to a segment of Ui Bairrche well established in ecclesiastical affairs and particularly prominent at Clondalkin and Tech Mo-Sacro BB 126a; Lee. 87vd; Rawl B 502. 121b – see CGH, 48). Along with Archbishop Lorcan and Abbot Edenigmus, Cinaed witnessed Diarmait’s grant to All Hallows ante 1166 (RPOS, 51, f.44d – see above, A39, 40). In 1172, Cinaed was among the prelates who tendered an oath of fealty to King Henry II at the Synod of Caiseal (Gesta i, 25; Pont H i, 171 n.5).

B20. Maelcalainn Ua Cleirchen

Maelcalainn’s obit is recorded at 1186 (ALC). The possessions of the diocese were confirmed to him (name Latinised as Malchus, otherwise Matheus) by a Bull of Pope Alexander III 13 May 1179 (AR, 5,[l], 48[2]; CM, 6-8, cap.3; Pont H i, 29-31). He exchanged Cell Epscoip Aedain (above, Bl) and other holdings with Archbishop John Comyn in return for Cell Moccu Birn (Td. Killickabawn) and adjacent properties (AR, 20, ff. 65[1], 174[2]; CM,55, cap.60). Likewise he granted properties to the Convent of Tachmolinbeg, to Llanthony and to the Abbey of St Thomas (AR, 58, 59 n.6, f. 2 [2]; LPS, 254, f.l2v; RST, 292, cap.339).

B21. Macrobius

In the early to mid 1180s, when archdeacon of Dublin, Macrobius witnessed a number of property transfers involving the Church of the Holy Trinity (AR, 13, ff. 63[1], 170[2]; CM, 70, cap.79; Reg. Nov., 259, 265; see also AR, 14, ff. 59b[l], 163[2]). As bishop of Glendalough, he witnessed the grant of Coolock to Llanthony (LPS, 251, f. 12) and confirmed grants to Holy Trinity (Reg. Nov., 262) and to St Thomas’ (RST, 291-2, cap.337-8). The see of Glendalough was vacant in 1192 as is clear from a charter of John, Lord of Ireland, granting it to the Archbishopric at the next vacancy (AR, 22, ff. 21b[l], 91-2[2]; CM, 45, cap.41). Gwynn and Hadcock have suggested that Macrobius may possibly be identified with the bishop Ua Mongaig whose obit is recorded at 1192 in AI (1970, 81).

B22. William Piro

As bishop, William witnessed a number of property transactions involving the Abbey of St Thomas (RST, 14, 77, 117, 150, 194-6, 265, 274, 359) and witnessed grants of King John to the Abbey of Conall 10 Sept. 1205 (Charter Rolls John 7 m7, Cal. Doc, 41). William received grants of territory in county Wicklow (AR, 35, ff.92[l], 307[2]; CM, 67, 151, cap. 73,153; RST, 164, cap.194). He granted properties to the Abbey of St Thomas (AR, 36, ff.l63b[l], 438[2]; RST, 182-3, 243, cap.215, 291, 335) and to Llanthony (LPS, 256-7, f.l3v).

In 1199, William was involved in a dispute over the Church of Mon [mohenoke] with the rector, Henry de Stanton (AR, 27, f.l3[2]). Subsequently, c.1202, he acted as adjudicator in a dispute between the Abbey of St Thomas and St Mary’s on the question of drinking ale (RST, 411, cap.478). Certain criminals were released on William’s surety, having paid him an indemnity (AR, 110, ff.l03[l], 268[2]). At the time of his death he was involved in a dispute regarding parochial rights and tithes at Donaghmore, county Wicklow (AR, 37 ff.l55[l], 400[2]). Presumably, he died early in 1212, as the aforementioned investigation was completed by Archbishop Comyn who died that year (Grace’s Annals). William may have been married, as ‘Gregory filius episcopi de Glindelache’ is listed as a witness to Derborgil’s grant to St Mary’s (CSM i, 31-2, ii, 3 – see above, A41



CI. Anaile

The obit of Anaile is recorded for 885 (AFM 883), with the title secnab Glinne da Locha. It may be relevant that the rare name Andail occurs in the genealogy of Ui Fergusa (LL 317b, 1364; Lee. 94vb; BB 137b – CGH, 351-2).

C2. Eochaid Ua Fotadain – Disert Coemgin

In his obit at 1108 (AFM) Eochaid, son of the lector Ua Fotadain, is described as ‘uasal sagart, senoir Disirt Chaoimgin’. His title suggests that he was senior cleric of his house.

C3. Maeltrena – Cro Coemgin

This man died in 1125 (AI, AFM). He is described in AFM as ‘uasal sagart ocus sruit senoir Chraoi Chaoimgin’.

C4. Anonymous – Insula Salvatoris

An unnamed prior of Insula Salvatoris witnessed a charter of Bishop Macrobius confirming a grant to the Abbey of St Thomas ante 1192 (RST, 291-2, cap.337-8). This Augustinian priory, adjacent to Glendalough, had been founded by Lorcan in the 1160s. It was granted to All Hallows by a charter of Archbishop Henry c. 1216-28 (AR, 54-5, ff. 159b[1], 416[2]; cfRPOS, app. 15,100).

C5. Thomas – Insula Salvatoris

The list of jurors for an inquisition convened at Castle Kevin c. 1257/63 includes the name of Prior Thomas (AR, 110, ff.l03[l], 268[2]). He is presumably the prior of St Saviour’s who represented the canons of Disirt Coemgin in the surrender of Tir Meccei (see above A39) and other lands to Archbishop Fulk (AR, 97, ff.H9[l], 300[2]; CM, cap.103).

C6. Anonymous – Gt. Church of Glendalough

Post 1256, some years after the abbacy was granted to the Archbishopric of Dublin, this prior recited a permit of Archbishop Fulk regarding grazing rights in the surrounding mountains (AR, 142, ff.l23[l], 308[2]). He is probably to be identified with the prior who acted as juror at the Castle Kevin Inquisition c.1257/63 (see above, C5). It may be noted that the abbacy was not subsumed at the Unification of the sees as has been suggested (Gwynn & Hadcock 1970, 177), but rather in the time of Archbishop Luke, d.1255 (see above, A42).

C7. Donnchad – Rupe

Also party to the aforementioned Inquisition was ‘Donohu Prior de Rupe by Glendelache’. It has been suggested that this ‘Priory of the Rock’ may have included the two principal churches of the Upper Lake – Templenaskellig and Disert Coemgin (Price 1945-67, i, 40).



DI. Dublitir Mac Sealbaig

Dublitir’s obit is recorded for 932 (AFM 930; AClon 927). He is described as abbot of Tech Moling and fer leiginn (a title usually applied to the head of a monastic school) of Glendalough, the earliest so recorded. His association with the two sites may explain the curious claim (see above, Al) that Moling succeeded to the abbacy at Glendalough. It may be noted that a church site known as Glasnamullen is found adjacent to Glendalough, with a St Kevins well nearby. Price renders the placename as Glaisne Moling (Price 1945-67, i 52). The personal name of Dublitir’s father, Selbach, occcurs in the genealogies of Ui Drona and Osraige (LL 317bb, 340ba, 1363, 1499), which accords with the location of Tech Moling in the Barrow Valley.

D2. Maelionmain

Maelionmain died in 955 (AFM 953), with the titles eccnaid [sage] and ancoire. Again, his personal name has Osraige associations (Lee. lOOra; Rawl B 502. 130a – CGH, 115)

D3. Artacan Ua Manchain

This man’s obit is recorded for 966 (AFM 964), where he is titled fer leigind. He is the earliest recorded representative at Glendalough of this kindred, which may represent a segment of Ui Bairrche (see above, A28).

D4. UaFotadain An Ferleiginn

Ua Fotadain is named in AFM as father of the senoir Eochaid, who died in 1108 (see above, C2).

D5. Tuathal Ua Cathail

This abbot who died in 1106 (see above, A35) is described in AI as sacart ocusfer leigind. Given his probable Ui Mail connection, he may have contributed to the above mentioned bias in favour of that dynasty, particularly evidenced in the Irish Lives of Coemgen (above, A32).



E1. Melcruinn?

One of three scholastici from Magh Liphi, Melcruinn was slain by his jealous comrades, restored to life by Coemgen and, we are told, ‘monachus obediens usque ad obitum suum apud Sanctum Coemgenum mansit’ (Vita Coemgeni VSH i, 252, f.37). He may simply represent the archetypal discipulus, his name conveying the notion of ‘authentic devotee’. However, the rare name Maelcroin occurs among the Ui Dega Tamnaig of Osraige (LL 339b, 1495; Lee. 98vb; Rawl B 502. 128b – CGH, 102).

E2. Mael Anbis

Comainmnigud Noem hErenn lists ‘Mael Anbis i nGlinn da Locha’ (LL 368f, 1671; CGSH, 152). He is also included in Litany I among the familia Coemgeni (LL 373b, 1698; IrLit, 56). In the case of undated clerics, especially where the position they may have held at the monastery is unclear, it is difficult to ascertain whether inclusion of their name among the familia represents personal involvement in the community or simply reflects later absorption of that clerics church into the paruchia of Glendalough. It is possible, however, that some undated and unranked clerics including Mael Anbis may have held the abbacy in the course of the seventh or early eighth centuries.

E3. Mochoe

‘Mochoe Glinne da Locha’ is included in the Comainmnigud (LL 368e, 1671; CGSH, 152) and also in Litany I (LL 373b, 1698; IrLit, 56) where he is called Mochoe nAirid. There is a church called Killmacoo, By Arklow, county Wicklow. Price renders it as ‘Cill Mochua’ (leg. Cell Mochoe?). Once a separate parish, it is now a townland in the Parish of Castlemacadam, county Wicklow (Price 1945-67, vii, 461).

E4. Mo Rioc

Comainmnigud lists ‘Mo Rioc i nGlind da Locha’ (LL 368f, 1672; CGSH, 152), while Litany I includes Mo Rioc Insi Bo Finni among familia Coemgeni (LL 373b, 1698; IrLit, 56). Rioc is commemorated at 1st Aug. (MT, MG, MD), where he is associated with Inis Meic Luigen or Inis Meic Ualaing (identified with Inis Bo Finni on Loch Ree – Stokes, MG, 316). Rioc is also listed in the Calendar of M. Drumm (see above, Al). A gloss in MG titles him epscop and a Bishop Mo Rioc is included in Nomina Episcoporum (LL 365f, 1651; CGSH, 136). He is named in ‘Hymnus Sancti Mugintii’ (Lib. Hym. i, 22; ii, 112-13 cf the story in Fenagh, 83,119,135,137, 181, 187). It is possible that two similarly named individuals have become confused – the Glendalough cleric and the patron of Lough Ree need not be identical. Litany II invokes ‘da fer dec la M’rioc dar muir’ – a gloss above the personal name was read by O’Sullivan as ‘Mac h [nD]ega’ (first two letters doubtful: LL 373d, 1701; cf Plummer, IrLit, ‘Mac hUi Loegde’).

E5. Cellach

The martyrologies commemorate Cellach at 7 Oct. (MO, MT, MG, MD), where he is associated with Glendalough. Addenda in MO also link him to Disert Cellaig, south west of Glendalough (at ‘Monastery’, Td. Ballinabarney, Par. Knockrath, Price 1945-67, i, 16) He is dubbed ‘Sachs’, explained in the terms ‘non Anglus fuit, sed venit ad Scoticos de Anglis quia Scoticus fuit’ (MO, 220-2). He is titled deochain in the martyrologies and the tract De Diaconibus includes a Cellach (LL 366d, 1657; CGSH, 139). Litany I mentions ‘Cellach Sax & Archidiaconus’ (LL 373b, 1699; IrLit, 56). He features in the Irish Life of Coemgen, where he is directed to Disert Cellaig as a penance for his alleged vanity (Beatha Caoimgin, [1] ?31; [2] ?16; [3] ?27,28,42: BNE i, 129, 149-50, 162-3, 166 ). The obit of Cellach Mac Condmaig, angcoire Disirt Cellaig entered at 828 (AFM) appears too late to be the eponymous Cellach,

E6. Bresal?

A burial slab with expansional cross, assigned by Lionard to his ‘group 6’ (see above, B14) is inscribed ‘or do Bresal A I Ihs XPS'(Lionard 1961, 135 fig. 26.3). This man may have been a member of the community.

E7. Diarmaitt?

A similarly styled slab is inscribed ‘or do Diarmaitt. or do Mace Cais’ (Lionard 1961, 135 fig. 26.2).

E8. Diarmaitt

This man’s obit is entered for 957 (AFM 955), where he is titled ancoire. He may possibly be associated with the above burial slab, or with another which is simply inscribed ‘oroit do Diarmait’ (Lionard 1961, 135 fig. 26.9).

E9. Dubscuile Ua Manchain

The obit of Dubscuile is entered for 967 (AFM 965). He is described as ‘anchoiri ocus cend riagla Glinne da Locha’. His kinsman, Artacan the lector, died a year before him (above, D3). He is also related to two later abbots (above, A28,34), possibly to a bishop (B12) and may, as observed earlier, have belonged to a sept of Ui Bairrche (see above, A28).

E10. Coirpre Mac Cathail

Coirpre, dubbed fial and titled ancoire, died in 1014 (AFM 1013; AClon 1007). He may have belonged to the already-mentioned Ui Mail segment of Ua Cathail (see above, A32). If so, he was the earliest recorded representative of that family at Glendalough (see above, A32, 35, 37, 38, D4). Lionard observes that Coirpre’s gravestone, now missing, was formerly preserved at the monastery. Decorated with a ‘group 6’ expansional cross, it was inscribed ‘or do Corpre Mac Cathail AW Ihs XPS’ (Lionard 1961, 132, fig. 23.1).

E11. Naoman Ua Seincind

Also an anchorite, Naoman’s obit is coupled with that of Coirpre (AFM 1013; AClon 1007).

E12. Guaire Ua Manchain

The obit of Guaire, titled ‘saccart Ghlinne da Locha’ is entered at 1050 (AFM). He is related to the above-mentioned Dubscuile (E9) and to the three other recorded clerics of that kindred.



I would like to thank Prof. F. J. Byrne and Mr. Charles Doherty, Department of Early (including Medieval) Irish History, UCD, for their helpful advice and critical comments. Thanks also to Prof. B. Almquist, Department of Irish Folklore, for permission to quote from Lámhscríbhinní na Scol.




AClon.: Annals of Clonmacnois, ed. D. Murphy. Dublin 1896.

AFM: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, ed.J. O’Donovan. 7 vols., 2nd ed. Dublin 1851-56.

AI: Annals of Inis fallen, ed. S. MacAirt. Dublin 1951.

ALC: Annals of Loch Ce, ed. W. M. Hennessy. London 1871.

ARosc: Annals of Roscrea, ed. D. Gleeson and S. MacAirt, PRIA 59C (1958), 137-80.

ATig: Annals of Tigernaeh, ed. W. Stokes, Revue Celtique 16 (1895), 374-419; 17 (1896), 6-33, 116-263, 337-420; 18 (1897), 5-59, 150-303, 374-91.

AU: Annals of Ulster, Rolls Ser., ed. W. M. Hennessy. 4 vols.London 1887-1901.

Cott. : Annals of Boyle from Cotton M.S. Titus A.25, ed. A. Martin Freeman, Revue Celtique 41 (1924), 301-30.

CS: Chronicon Scotorum, Rolls Ser., ed. W. M. Hennessy. London

Fr. A: Fragmentary Annals of Ireland, ed. J. N. Radner. Dublin 1978.

Grace’s Annals: Jacobi Grace Kilkenniensis: Annates Hiberniae, ed. R.Butler. Dublin 1842.


MCC: Martyrology and Book of Obits of Christ Church, ed. J. C. Crostwaithe. Dublin 1846.

MD: Martyrology of Donegal, ed. J. O’Donovan, J. H. Todd and W. Reeves. Dublin, 1864.

MDrumm: Missale Drummondiense, ed. G. H. Forbes. Burntisland, Fife 1882.

MEng.: Martiloge in Englysshe of Richard Whytford, ed. F. Procter and E. S. Dewick. London 1893.

MG: Martyrology of Gorman, H. Bradshaw Soc, ed. W. Stokes.London 1895.

M O: Martyrology of Oengus, H. Bradshaw Soc, ed. W. Stokes.London 1905.

MT: Martyrology of Tallaght, H. Bradshaw Soc, ed. R.L Bestand H. J. Jackson. London 1931.

Genealogies and Devotional Literature

Bansh.: The Ban-Shenchus, ed. M.C. Dobbs, Revue Celtique 47-9,(1930-32).

BB : Book of Bally mote, ed. R. Atkinson. Dublin 1887. CGH: Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae, ed. M. A. O’Brien. Dublin 1962.

CGSH: Corpus Genealogiarum Sanctorum Hiberniae, ed. P. 6 Riain. Dublin 1985.

GRSH: Genealogiae Regum et Sanctorum Hiberniae, ed. P. Walsh. Maynooth 1918.

IrLit: Irish Litanies, ed. C. Plummer. London 1925.

LB: LebarBrecc, ed. R. Atkinson. Dublin 1887.

Lee: Book of Lecan, ed. K. Mulchrone. Dublin 1937.

Lib. H.: Liber Hymnorum, 2 vols., ed. J. H. Bernard and R. Atkinson. London 1898.

LL: Lebar Laigin/Book of Leinster, 6 vols., ed. R. I. Best, O Bergin, M. A. O’Brien and A O’Sullivan. Dublin 1954-83.

Stowe: Stowe Missal, 2 vols., ed. G.F. Warner. London 1906.

TP: Thesaurus Paleohibernicus, 2 vols., ed. W. Stokes and J. Strachan. Cambridge 1901.

Ui M.: Book of Ui Maine, ed. R. A. S. Macalister. Dublin 1942.

History and Saga

F. Feasa: Foras Feasa ar Eirinn le Seathrun Ceitinn, 2 vols. ed. P. De Barra. Dublin 1983.

Gesta: Gesta Henrici Secundi, ed. W. Stubbs. London 1867.

SG: Silva Gadelica, ed. S. H. O’Grady. London 1892.


B Adam: Betha Adamnain, ed. R. I. Best, Anecdota 2 (1913), 10-20.

BNE: Bethada Naem ntrenn, 2 vols., ed. C. Plummer. Oxford 1922.

LBS.: Lives of the British Saints, 4 vols., ed. S. Baring-Gould and J. Fisher. London 1913.

LMC: Life of St Monenna by Conchubranus, ed. Ulster Soc. for Medieval Latin Studies, Seanchas Ardmacha, 9 No. 2(1979-80).

LSS: Lives of the Saints from the Book of Lismore, ed. S. H. O’Grady. Oxford 1890.

Salm.: Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae ex Codice Salmanticensi, ed. W. W. Heist. Brussels 1965.

VL: Vita S. Laurencii Archiepiscopi Dublinensis, ed. C. Plummer, Analecta Bollandiana 33 (1914), 121-86.

V.S.S.H.: Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae, 2 Vols. ed. C. Plummer. Oxford 1910.

Registers and Chartularies

AR: Calendar of Archbishop Alen’s Register, ed. C. McNeill. Dublin 1950.

Cal. Doc: Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland 1171-1251, ed. H. S. Sweetman. London 1875.

CM: Crede Mihi, ed. J. T. Gilbert. Dublin 1897.

CSM.: Chartularies of St Mary’s Abbey, Dublin, ed. J. T. Gilbert. London 1884.

LPS: The Irish Cartularies of Llanthony Prima et Secunda, ed. E. St John-Brooks. Dublin 1953.

Pont H: Pontificia Hibernica, 2 vols., ed., M.P. Sheehy. Dublin 1962.

Reg. Nov.: The Registrum Novum, ed. M. P. Sheehy Reportorium Novum 3 No. 2 (1964), 249-81.

RPOS: Registrum Prioratus Omnium Sanctorum Juxta Dublin, ed. R. Butler. Dublin 1845.

RST: Register of the Abbey of St Thomas, Dublin, ed. J. T. Gilbert. London 1889.

Secondary Sources

BARROW, L. 1972 Glendalough and St Kevin. Dundalk.

BYRNE, F. J.1980 Derrynavlan: The Historical Context, JRSAI 110, 116-26. 1984 Bishops 1111-1534, in A New History of Ireland 9: Maps, Genealogies and Lists, ed. T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin and F. J. Byrne. Oxford.

DOHERTY, C. 1985 The Monastic Town in Early Medieval Ireland, in Comparative History of Urban Origin in Non-Roman Europe, ed. H. B. Clarke and A. Simms. Oxford.

GWYNN, A and HADCOCK, N.1970 Irish Monasteries. London.

HENRY, F. and MICHELI, G. L. MARSH. 1962 A Century of Irish Illumination 1070-1170, PRIA 62C (1962), 101-64.

LIONARD, P. 1961 Early Irish Grave Slabs, PRIA 61C (1961),

MANNING, C. 1984 Excavations at Glendalough, JKHAS 16 No. 4 (1984), 342-7.

PRICE, L. 1940 Glendalough: St Kevin’s Road, in Feilsgribhinn Eoin Mhic Neill, ed. J. Ryan. Dublin. ?1945-67 Placenames of county Wicklow. 7 Vols. Dublin.

ROCHE, M. F.1979 The Latin Lives of Saint Laurence O’Toole, unpublished PhD.thesis, UCD

RONAN, M. V. 1928 The Ancient Churches of the Deanery of Wicklow, JRSAI 58 (1928), 132-55.

TURNER, K. 1983 If You Seek Monuments. Dublin.


Reproduced with the kind permission of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.     

 Original article in: The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 119 (1989), pp. 79-97             

NOTE: Errors may appear in text due to reformatting – original text available in attached pdf.

Comments about this page

  • Congratulations on this detailed list of Abbots / Scribes …..several of whom was unaware….thank you.

    By Noelene Beckett Crowe (03/06/2020)

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