Roderic O’Flaherty


Life
1629-1718 [given as Roderick on contemp. title pages]; b. Moycullen Castle [var. estate of Park in Moycullen; var. Parke], Co. Galway; son of Aed O’Flaherty of Aughanure Caslte; made king’s ward at death of father, 1631; tutored by Alexander Lynch with whom he studied Irish literature; on friendly terms with John Lynch (author of Cambrensis eversus); trained by Dubhaltach MacFirbisigh, at St. Nicholas’ College; lost estates to ‘Nimble Dick’ Martin in sequel to 1641, failing in appeal to Commissioners of Revenue at Athlone; sought reinstatement at the Restoration but was disappointed after protracted legal battles, the land being partly recovered by his son in 1677; settled in small house in Iar-Connaught [West Connacht];
 
issued Ogygia, seu rerum hibernicarum chronologia, a mytho-historical account of Ireland based on Irish annals and legends, instigated by John Lynch; completed 1655, published in Latin by Everingham using Moxon’s type (London 1685); incls. an extended dedication addressed to James, Duke of York and Albany [later Charles II] with a genealogy of the Stuarts demonstrating their Irish origins (beginning ‘Ireland, the most ancient nursery of your ancestors, most humbly implores you Highness’s protection and patronage ...’); also a chronological account of ’The Irish Nation” based upon Gaelic sources but incl. much English material;
 
corresponded with members of the Dublin Philosophical Society; inaccurately translated by Rev. James Hely of TCD, with the assistance of Theophilus O’Flanagan, 1793; his Chorographical Description of West or H-Iar Connaught (Latin 1685) was edited by James Hardiman for the Irish Archaeological Society (1846); in 1700 O’Flaherty was visited by Edward Lhuyd, who found that ‘the late revolution in Ireland had reduced him to great poverty and destroyed his books and papers’; later still Samuel Molyneux found ‘old O’Flaherty’ living in misery at Parke, in W. Galway, in 1709; he died at 89, in Connemara reputedly in squalor; there is a life in Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.456. RR DIB DIW ODNB JMC FDA OCIL

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Works
  • Ogygia: seu, rerum Hibernicarum chronologia (Londini: typis R. Everingham, sumptibus Ben. Tooke 1685), 4o [Wing 0160; details];
  • A Chorographical Description of H-Iar Connaught, ed. James Hardiman (Dublin 1846)
 

Also, manuscript Observations on Dr Borlase’s reduction of Ireland (1682) and on Sir John Temple; also The Ogygia vindicated against the objections of Sir George Mackenzie, not however printed [see Leerssen, infra].

Bibliographical details
Ogygia, seu, Rerum Hibernicarum Chronologia [ ...] Liber Primus [...] In tres Partibus distinctus [ ...] Quibus Accedit [ ...] Chronologica Tabula [ ...] Londini, Typis R. Everingham, Sumptibus Ben Tooke [...] 1685 4o. (See Catalogue of Henry Bradshaw Coll. of Irish Books, Cambridge, 1916.).

Sundry editions [a compilation of bibliographical notes]: 1] James Hely trans., Ogyvia [sic], or a Chronological [sic] Account of Irish Events .... written originally in Latin by Roderic O’Flaherty Esq. .... 2 vols. (Dublin 1793) [elsewhere & recte Ogygia]. 2] Rev James Hely, Ogyvia [sic], or Chronological Account of Irish Events, trans. of story written in Latin by Roderick O’Flaherty in 1685. 3] Ogygia, or a chronological Account of Irish Events .... collected from ancient documents .... written originally in Latin by Roderick O’Flaherty Esq, Translated into English by Rev. James Hely, 2 vols. (W. M’Kenzie, Dublin 1793); new ed. Ogygia, 1991. 4] Ogygia, trans. James Hely, TCD (1793); 5] O’Flaherty also wrote The Ogygia vindicated against the objections of Sir George Mackenzie, which was not however printed [Leerssen, infra]. 6] O’Flaherty issued Ogygia Vindiciae (1695) in response to Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Advocate of Scotland, who ‘strove to make light of it’ [err. JMC, not published]. 7] O’Conor, ed., Roderick O’Flaherty, The Ogygia vindicated against the objections of Sir G. Mackenzie (Dublin 1775) . 8] The Ogygia VindicatedAgainst Objections of Sir George Mackenzie [with] epistle of John Lynch DD to M. Boileau .... on Scottish Antiquities [and] dissertation by C. O’Conor Esq., Dublin for George Faulkner (1785) [Bradshaw; qry 1775]. 9] O’Flaherty’s answer to Mackenzie, in The Ogygia vindicated, which duly appeared in 1775 with an introduction by O’Conor on the origin and antiquity of the ancient Scots of Ireland and Britain (pp.xxv-xlviii) and an appendix containing John Lynch’s anti-Dempsterian letter to Boileau. 10] The Ogygia Vindicated, Against Objections of Sir George Mackenzie [with] epistle of John Lynch DD to M. Boileau .... on Scottish Antiquities [and] dissertation by C. O’Conor Esq., Dublin for George Faulkner (1785) [Bradshaw 1230], cited in Gilbert, History of Dublin, ‘Authorities’ p. 602. Note also the dedication: ‘antiquissima majorum tuorum incunabula, dux Invictissime, Hibernia Antiquitatibus suis jam luce publica donandis vestrae Celsitudinis patriocinium demisseme implorat ... caput cinere conspersa, Lumbos cilicio succincta, capillis a vertice defluentibus, cum Lachrymis in maxillis eius, & passis manibus Librum porrigit, in quo scriturae Lamentationes, carmen & vae (Ezek. 2.10) [‘Ireland, the most ancient cradle of your forefathers, O most victorious duke, in the publication of her Antiquities implores most humbly your Grace’s patronage ... with ashes strewn on her head, her loins girdled with a hair-shirt, her loosened hair hanging down her face, and with tears in her eyes, and in her outstretched hands she proffers a book in which are written lamentations, mourning, and woe’] (cited in J. Th. Leerssen, op. cit., 1986, infra.)

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Commentary
W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1984), Roderick O’Flaherty, ed. Galway at the school of Lynch’s father; Ogygia seu Rerum Hiber nicarum Chronologia, represents Ireland as Ogygia, the island west of Britain described by Plutarch as being visited by Greeks, including Hercules, where the god Chronos lay imprisoned in a cave; drew extensively on mythology and history and quoted many dates in classical history with those of events in Ireland in the manner of the ‘synchronisms’ of Gaelic annalists; dedicated to James II [206].

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Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fior-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior to the Nineteenth Century (John Benjamins Pub. Co., Amsterdam & Philadelphia, 1986) writes: ‘John Lynch’s [of Cambrensis Eversus] mentor was Duald Mac Firbis, who worked for Sir James Ware. Roderick O’Flaherty was a fellow pupil, chieftain of his clan and bardic scholar, plunged into destitution, and was the first Gaelic scholar to have a work published in London, presumably sponsored by one of the Molyneux brothers who had entered into correspondence with him [321].’ Ogygia (1685), a work of bardic mytho-antiquarianism; written against Borlase, as earlier in his manuscript Observations on Dr Borlase’s Reduction of Ireland (1682) and Sir John Temple; O’Flaherty invests high hopes in James Stuart, Charles Catholic brother, in a dedication, ‘antiquissima majorum tuorum incunabula, dux Invictissime, Hibernia Antiquitatibus suis jam luce publica donandis vestrae Celsitudinis patriocinium demisseme implorat ... caput cinere conspersa, Lumbos cilicio succincta, capillis a vertice defluentibus, cum Lachrymis in maxillis eius, & passis manibus Librum porrigit, in quo scriturae Lamentationes, carmen & vae (Ezek. 2.10) [‘Ireland, the most ancient cradle of your forefathers, O most victorious duke, in the publication of her Antiquities implores most humbly your Grace’s patronage ... with ashes strewn on her head, her loins girdled with a hair-shirt, her loosened hair hanging down her face, and with tears in her eyes, and in her outstretched hands she proffers a book in which are written lamentations, mourning, and woe.’] O’Flaherty was again reduced to dire poverty under the Penal Laws [sic], but was noticed a last time by Thomas Molyneux [recte Samuel], who wrote of his ‘miserable condition’ as seen ‘3 hours west of Gallway in Hiar or West-Connaught’, stripped of his Irish manuscrips, with nothing but ‘some few of his own writing’ and ‘a few old rummish books of history printed.’ (‘A Journey to Connaught’, April 1709, ed. A Smith, Miscellany of the Irish Arch. Society 1, 1846, 161-178.) [322-23.] Roderick O’Flaherty answered Sir George Mackenzie’s attempts [in A Defence of the Antiquity of the Royal Line of Scotland, 1685] to push back the date of the Irish invasion of Scotland - thus reviving the Dempsterian view that Scotland not Ireland was the original of ‘Scotia’ - in The Ogygia vindicated against the objections of Sir George Mackenzie, which was not however printed. [392] And noe Leerssen’s remark that O’Flaherty’s Ogygia provides the context in which we must understand the dialogue between Scot and Irishman in Macklin’s Love a la mode (1757) [393; see Macklin, supra]. [Page refs to Joseph Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael (1986.] ‘An early illustration of the high hopes that Gaelic Catholic Ireland was vesting in James Stuart ... by repeatedly pointing at the Scottish, hence Gaelic, hence originally Irish, background of the Stuart dynasty … O’Flaherty placed it under the patronage of James while he was still Duke of York’ (Leersson, op. cit., rep. edn. 1996; pp.280-81; cited by Mary Beckett in typescript paper, ‘Oscar Wilde: Name re-Cognising and re-Collecting and The Picture of Dorian Gray ...’ [1998].) Further, Ogygia, published in translation by James Hely, TCD (Ogygia, or, a chronicle account of Irish events by Roderic O’Flaherty, 2 vols. (Dublin 1793), assisted by Theophilus O’Flanagan, and dedicated to ‘The Irish Nation’ [417; for extract, see infra.]

Nollaig O Muráile, The Celebrated Antiquary Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh, c. 1600-1671: His Lineage, Life and Learning (An Sagarat, Maynooth 1996), holds that the supposed education of Roderick O’Flaherty by John Lynch in Galway is ‘based on nothing but guesswork on the part of James Hardiman’ [211], and further, that ‘the whole question of whether John Lynch was ever in charge of a school in his native town is fraught with difficulty.’ (pp.211-12.)

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Guy St. John Williams, A Sea-Grey House [Renvyle House Hotel] (Connemara: Clódóidí Lurgan Teo. 1995): ‘One of the best contemporary chroniclers of those years was himself a member of the O’Flaherty clan. The noted scholar Roderick O’Flaherty was born in Galway in about 1629, son of Aed O’Flaherty of Aughanure and studied at St. Nicholas’ College. When the estate to which he was heir was confiscated, Roderick appealed to the Commissioners of Revenue at Athlone, but in vain. His appeal was dismissed and he was banished to Iar-Connacht, where he was allocated a very small property and settled down to write his Histories. On the restoration of the Stuarts, Roderick, like many others of the dispossessed, entertained hopes of being reinstated in his lands and records his disappointment: “The Lord hath wonderfully recalled the Royal heir to his kingdom, with the applause of all good men and without dust and blood, but he hath not found me worthy to be restored to the kingdom of my cottage. Against thee alone O Lord, have I sinned; may the name of the Lord be blessed for ever”. / He now lived at Parke, apparently in great poverty: “I live a banished man within the bounds of my native soil; a spectator of others enriched by my birthright, an object of condoling to my relations and friends and a condoler of their miseries.” / Edward Lhuyd, the author of Archaelogia Britannica was one of Roderick’s visitors in his last years. In 1702 he mentions a book communicated with a letter to “Old O’Flaherty, who, unless it comes frank, will I fear, be scarce able to pay postage”. / Another account of Roderick’s penurious state is given by Thomas Molyneux, who visited “Old O’Flaherty” in 1709 - “Lives very old, in a miserable condition at Parke, some three hours west of Galway in Hiar or West Connacht”. Roderick O’Flaherty died in 1718, aged about 89.’ (p.24.)

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Quotations
Ogygia [1685], ‘Whether islands from the creation of the world have been situated in the sea, or whether they have been afterwards separated from continents, by the intervention of inundations, is a subject of debate. / Whether Ireland be Plutarch’s Ogygia, which he places to the west of Britain, in his book of the Moon’s appearance in her course, as some assert; or whether it be the contrary, as others think, is all the same to me. For I have intitled my book Ogygia, for the following reason given by Camden: “Ireland is justly called Ogygia, i.e. very antient, according to Plutarch, for the Irish date their history from the first eras of the world; so that in comparison to them, the antiquity of all other countries is modern, and almost in its infancy!”’ Further: ‘There is, westwards of Aran, in sight of the next continent of Balynahynsy barony, Skerde, a wild island of huge rocks, the receptacle of a deale of seals thereon yearly slaughtered. These rocks sometimes appear to be a great city far off, full of houses, castles, towers, and chimneys; sometimes full of blazing flames, smoak, and people running to and fro. Another day you would see nothing but a number of ships, with their sailes and riggings; then so many great stakes or reeks of corn and turf, and this not only on fair sun-shining days, whereby it might be thought the reflection of the sun-beames, on the vapours arising about it, had been the cause, but alsoe on dark and cloudy days happening.’ (All quoted in Tim Robinson, ‘Ogygia Lost’, The Dublin Review, Spring 2004, pp.40, 47; without refs. but presum. from James Hely’s translation.) [For further extracts, see under James Hely, supra.]

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Ogygia (1685) - dedication to the Duke of York [later James II] and the Irish Nation prefaced to Ogygia [trans. James Hely, 1793]: ‘[...] sincerely and most ardently wishing that the blessing of peace, plenty, unanimity and brotherly love, may for ever continue in the land; that your arts and manufactures may rapidly flourish and increase, to a degree of celebrity and perfection; that your real grievances may procure immediate redress, and that every corrupt and gross abuse may be chased from this once unpolluted isle; and that your commerce and trade, through all its various branches, unobstructed and unrestricted, extend to all parts of the globe!’ (p.xii).

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Ogygia (1685): ‘Eoghan Mogh Nuadat the Great, of the stock of Eber, and King of the Erainn of Munster, became an implacable adversary of King Conn, until he was compelled by Conn to flee the country. For nine years an exile in Spain, he at length allied himself with Freoch, a Spanish prince, the son of Eber and grandson of Midna, and he married Freoch’s sister, Bera. Under his leadership he brought a great force of foreigners into Ireland. And to secure terms of peace he defeated Conn in [many] engagements and thus overwhelmed not alone the inherited sceptre of the Munstermen, but also the entire south of Ireland from where the Ridean Ridge, or Eiscir [esker] Riada, stretches in a straight line through the highways running along the higher parts of Dublin to the ford of the Medrigin peninsula, near Galway. Therefore the southern part from that line is called Leth Mhogha, or Mogh Nuadat’s Half, and the northern part Leth Chuinn, or Conn’s Half. / This division into two parts had lasted [some say] no more than a year when Mogha hatched a new conspiracy. On the plea (cassatus) that the north of Dublin Bay Harbour (Portus) that belonged to Conn’s share returned far greater profits from ship-taxes, fisheries, and commerce [than his], Mogha claimed for himself a half-share in this revenue. (Ogygia, seu Rerum Hibernicarum Chronologia, Roderico O’Flaherti, London 1685; pt. XII, Cap. LX, 315-16, trans. Arthur Little, S.J.; quoted in George A Little, Dublin Before the Vikings, 1957, pp.88-89; note that Little calls O’Flaherty’s ‘a staid account’.)

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Ogygia, Pt. I [presum. trans. by James Hely, 1793]: ‘There is at this day, in the royal throne at Westminster, a stone called in English Jacob’s Stone, from the patriarch Jacob (I know not why). On this monument the kings of Ireland formerly, in a solemn manner, took the omens of their investiture ... if it would make a noise under the person who sat on it, it was an infallible sign of his accession to the throne ... Since the incarnation of our blessed Lord it has made no such oracle ... The time it came from Ireland into the possession of the Scots of Britain cannot be ascertained ... conjecture ... reign of King Kineth (ad 850) ... Edward I, king of England, marching through Scotland in 1296 with a victorious army, translated it to London (Rep. as “Lia Fail, or Jacob’s Stone”, in in Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature, Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904).

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A Chorographical Description of H-Iar Connaught, ed. James Hardiman (Dublin 1846): ‘The three Iles of Aran half barony, extending in length from west to east, have the barony of Moycullin, Galway, on the north, the county of Clare, on the east, and the Cape of Kerryhead, far off in sight stretched out in the sea, on the south. They are fenced on the south side with very high clifts, some three score, some four score and five score fathoms deep, against the Western Ocean's approach. The soile is almost paved over with stones, soe as, in some places nothing is to be seen but large stones with wide openings between them, where cattle break their legs. Scarce any other stones there but limestones and marble fit for tombstones, chymney mantle trees, and high crosses. Among these stones is very sweet pastures, so that beefe, veal, mutton are better and earlyer in season here, than elsewhere [... In some places the plow goes [...] From the Isles of Aran and the west continent often appears visible that inchpnted island called O'Brasil, and in Irish Beg-ara, or the Lesser Aran, set down in cards of navigation. Whether it be reall and firm land, kept hidden by speciall ordinance of God, as the terrestial paradise, or else some illusion of airy clouds appearing on the surface of the sea, or the craft of evill spirits, is more than our judgements can sound out.’ (pp.65-69.)

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Ignorance & malice: ‘Strangers [who] not well vers’d in the Country hauve Some out of Ignorance others out of Design’d malice & envy comitted most Apparent gross Solecisms by misrepresentments of matters.’ (Letter to Molyneux, 17 Dec. 1708; Southampton City Records Office, Molyneux Papers D/M/M/1/2; cited in Norman Vance, ‘Irish Literary Traditions and the Act of Union’, in Cyril J. Byrne and Margaret Harry, eds., Talamh an Eisc: Canadian and Irish Essays [Irish Studies St. Mary’s Coll.] (Halifax Can.: Nimbus Publ. Co. 1986), pp.29-47; p.33.

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Contra Spenser: In answer to Edmund Spenser’s account of the Gaelicised Normans, O’Flaherty wrote: ‘Haec in praesenti sufficiunt ad monem fidem historicam Spencero denegandum. Nam Comes ille Oxoniae eximium utriusque fortunae specimen a partu virgineo Anno 1385. Hiberniae sub Richardo 2. Prorex designatus, nunquam tamen in Hiberniam pedem intulit, nec in Anglia morte mulctatus, sed a proceribus proelio devictus, et solum vertere coactus animi moerere in summa penuria vitam extorris finivit inter Ligures in Lovania Anno 3192.’ (For Spenser’s sentence and source of same, see infra.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography: historiographer, published Ogygia, seu rerum Hibernicarum chronologia (1685); his Chorographical Description of West or H-Iar Connaught, edited by James Hardiman. ;b. Moycullen Castle, Co. Galway; son of Hugh O’Flaherty and Elizabeth Darcy; tribe of Muintir Murchadha, tracing back to highking of 7th c.; deprived of lands by Parliament in 1640s; achieved partial restitution, 1653; studied under Alexander Lynch [sic; err. for John Lynch at school of his father], and later Duald Macfirbis, resident at St. Nicholas, Galway; recovered some further land by law in 1677; Ogygia, Lond. 1685, printed in Quarto by R. Everingham, using the Irish type for names and quotations later used by Elinor Everingham to printed sermons, Seanmora ar na Priom Phonchibh na Creideamh, trans. into Irish by Philip MacBrady and John Mulchroni, 1711. O’Flaherty judge trustworthy historian; shows acquaintance with with annals of Tignearnach Ó Braen [sic], Book of Lecan, the Liber Migrationum of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, as well as Baeda [Bede], Higden, Hector Boece; Ogygia ded. to James Duke of York, mentioning old Irish-Scottish connection and tracing the royal family of England to the ancient monarchs of Ireland; laments that the wrongs of Ireland have not been righted at the Restoration. A Latin poem on the birth of James Prince of Wales, ‘Serenissimi Walliae Principis Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae cum appendicibus dominiis haeredis conspicui Genethliacon’, printed Dublin 1688. Edward Lhuyd of Oxford described him in 1700 as ‘affable and learned’ but reduced to poverty by the late revolutions which have destroyed his books and papers’; bore witness to his erudition in Arch. Brit., 1707; Sir Thomas Molyneux [err. for Samuel; see RX] say him at Park[e] ‘some three hours to the west of Galway, ‘in a miserable condition’, with ‘nothing left but some pieces of his own writing and a few old rummish books of history, printed’. He died 8 Apr. 1718, and was buried in the grounds of his own house at Parke. His treatise left in MS, Ogygia Vindicated, published by Charles O’Connor [recte O’Conor] in 1775, 21 chaps, the last unfinished; trans. inaccurately by Rev. James Hely of TCD, 1793; letter to Lhuyd of 1706 reproduced in Facsimiles of national Library of Ireland, ed. JT Gilbert [who writes this ODNB entry], pt. iv., p.2, plate xcv. No vestige found of his rumoured work Ogygia Christiana. His Chronographical Description of West or H-Iar Connaught edited by James Hardiman.

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), gives details: b. Park, nr. Galway, 1628; his father principal proprietor of barony of Moycull; ward of court on father’s death in 1630; sheltered in Sligo during Cromwellian wars; met Duald MacFirbis there, and studies under him; lands usurped in Galway by ‘Nimble Jack Martin’; regained possession after many years; met John Lynch, author of Cambrensis Eversus, who induced him to write Ogygia, completed 1665 and printed in 1684 [recte 1685], in the original Latin; translated by J[ames] Hely and published (Dublin 1693); O’Flaherty published Ogygia Vindiciae (1695) in response to Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Advocate of Scotland, who ‘strove to make light of it’ [JMC]; later lived in miserable condition, the last of the ancient race of Irish historians and chronologers [sic]; also A Chronographical Description of West or H-Iar Connaught, Ogygia Christianae, feared lost, and smaller pieces, names unknown. Characterised by curious lore mixed with imaginative stories; viz, the phantom isle of Hy-Brasil was in his time ‘often visible’; ‘fantastical ships in the harbour of Galway sailing against the wind’; ‘an Irish crocodile that lived at the bottom of Lough Mask’. Ireland called Ogygia by Plutarch ‘because they begin their histories from most profound memory of antiquity’; the history he relates is an extraordinary pasticcio from Persian, Grecian, Roman and Mosaic history; begins the Milesian history 1015 years before Christ and writes a poem, called a chronographical poem, in which he says, ‘from the creation of the world my Ogygian poem shall commence’, and ending, ‘God, the father of the universe, at whose pleasure Ogygia will stand or fall, will unravel the secrets of futurity’, ending his story with the reign of Charles II in 1684. JMC excerpts “Lia Fail, or Jacob’s Stone”, from Ogygia, Pt. I [as supra]. ‘There is at this day, in the royal throne at Westminster, a stone called in English Jacob’s Stone, from the patriarch Jacob (I know not why). On this monument the kings of Ireland formerly, in a solemn manner, took the omens of their investiture ... if it would make a noise under the person who sat on it, it was an infallible sign of his accession to the throne ... Since the incarnation of our blessed Lord it has made no such oracle ... The time it came from Ireland into the possession of the Scots of Britain cannot be ascertained ... conjecture ... reign of King Kineth (ad 850) ... Edward I, king of England, marching through Scotland in 1296 with a victorious army, translated it to London]; also ‘The Idolatry of the Irish’, from Ogygia, Pt. II, [dealing with Cromcruach; St. Patrick, Caesar and the Druids]. The facing page ill. is the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1: calls Ogygia, or a Chronological account of Irish Events (1685), ‘a curious mixture of fact and fiction primarily from old Irish annals’; ‘much of the book is taken up with a dry chronological entries’; selects short account of Irish boats [269-70]. from Ogygia. Bibl.: Note that the date of authorship of Description of h-Iar Connaught, ed., Hardiman, is here given as ‘written AD 1684’ [273]. Lists K. Theodore Hoppen, The Common Scientist in the Seventeenth Century, Study of the Dublin Phil. Society, 1683-1708 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970); Mícheál Ó Duigeannáin, ‘A Letter from Roderic [sic] O’Flaherty to William [?err] Molyneux’, 26 Jan. 1697, Galway Arch. Soc., Journal, 18 (1938-39), pp.183-85); Ann de Valera, ‘Antiquarian and Historical Investigations in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century’ (unpub. MA thesis NUI 1978), pp.18, 34, 41, 58n.; Tomás Ó Concheanainn, ‘Scríobhaithe LeacAin Mhic Fhirbisigh’, in Celtica XIX (Dublin 1987), 145ff. Also New History of Ireland, Vol. III.

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Muriel McCarthy, ed., Hibernia Resurgens: Catalogue of Marsh’s Library (1994); catalogue includes quarto edn. of Ogygia: seu, rerum Hibernicarum chronologia (Londini: typis R. Everingham, sumptibus Ben. Tooke 1685), 4o; McCarthy gives further deails including the misinformation that that J. J. Hely published his translation of the work in 1693 [sic for 1793], as follows: ‘Ogygia, was written in Latin and finished in 1655, but not published until 1685 when, dedicated to James, Duke of York and Albany, it was published in London by Everingham, using his Moxon fount. In 1693 [sic; err. for 1794] an English translation by J. Hely was published in Dublin, This was fiercely criticised by Sir George Mackenzie, so O’Flahery wrote Ogygia vindicata but, although approved by Edward Lhuyd, it was still in manuscript at his death. In 1775 Charles O’Conor edited and published the work. (H. Resurgens, notes to Ogygia; p.26); Note also the comments on Charles O’Conor, [ed.,] The Ogygia vindicated: against the objectsion of Sir George Mackenzie ... by Roderic O’Flaherty (Dublin: for George Faulkner 1775), 8o [purchased for Marsh’s, 1843-44?]; ‘Roderick O’Flaherty wrote the original Ogygia and a Latin version of Ogygia vindicata, which he never published. In 1775 Charles O’Conor edited this English version, adding a preface and a concluding essay. It is interesting to note that his Ogygia vindicated contains references to Bishop Stillingfleet, Archbishop Ussher, Sir James Ware, Duald Mac Firbis and the Abbé macgeoghegan.’ (Hib. Resurgens, p.26.)

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Catalogue of Henry Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books, Cambridge Library (Cambridge UP 1916) lists Ogygia, seu, Rerum Hibernicarum Chronologia [...] Liber Primus [...] In tres Partibus distinctus [...] Quibus Accedit [...] Chronologica Tabula [...] Londini, Typis R. Everingham, Sumptibus Ben Tooke [...] 1685 4o. .

Ulster Libraries
Belfast Public Library holds Ogygia (1793). University of Ulster (Morris Collection) holds Ogygia, or a chronological account of Irish events, collected from very ancient documents. 2 vols. in 1 (W. McKenzie, 1793).

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Notes
Whence Ogygia?: The Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) writes: ‘But if we have not any detailed description from his lively pen, the native chroniclers have furnished us with abundant materials, and, if all they say be true, we can understand the remark of Camden that Ireland was rightly called Ogygia, or the Ancient Island, because in comparison, the antiquity of all other nations is in its infancy.’ (“Ireland”.) See also Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), in which: ‘Ireland called Ogygia by Plutarch “because they begin their histories from most profound memory of antiquity”’ [supra].

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Edmund Spenser’s sentence, in response to which O’Flaherty wrote see infra runs as follows: ‘these machswines and macmahons or rather Veres and F[itz]urulies for private dispite turne themselves against England for at such time as Robert Vere E. of Oxford was in the Barons wars against King Richard the Second, through the malice of the peers banished the realm and proscribed, he with his kinseman Fzurslie fled into Ireland where being prosecuted and afterwardes in England put to death his kinsmen there remaining behind in Ireland rebelled and conspiring with the Irish did quite cast off their English name and allegiance wince which time the have ever so remained and have still since then been counted mere Irish’ (View of the Present State of Ireland [ll.2020-2030], Gottfried, ed., Spenser’s Prose Works, Var. Ed., Vol. 10, 1949; p.348; quoting O’Flaherty as above [ftn.] and without trans.)

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Kith & kin: William Fitz-Adelm de Burgo entered Connaught to claim his entitlement, 1201; gained support of Cathal Crobhdearg O’Connor, and contested with Aed O’Flaherty and Aed O’Neill together with the sons of Ruairaigh O’Connor [Ó Conchubhair], against Aed O’Connor, the son of Crobhdearg; O’Flaherty isles of Lough Corrib ceded to O’Connor; Aed O’Flaherty caputred by Aed O’Connor and delivered to de Burgo; O’Flaherty deprived of hereditary lands and driven from Moy-Seola by Richard, son od William de Burgo 1232; O’Flaherty's passed into Iar-Connact, supplanting the O’Cadhlas; held territories of Moycullen, Ballinahinch, and half baronies of Ross and Arran; attacked again by de Burgo and recruited to assist against erstwhile allies, the descendants of Ruairaigh O’Connor; death of Aed O’Flaherty, Chief of Iar-Chonnacht, 1236, called 'the greatest and most excellent man who ever lived of the men of West Connacht and one who was the greatest supporter of other men and himself depended least upon others.' Mourough O’Flaherty and Roderick, his brother, complain to Henry III that they have been unjustly driven from their territories, 1244; attacked by Walter de Burgo, with siezures of Gnomore and Gnobegg; other O’Flahertys incl. Murtagh, jBishop of Annaghdown; Roderick O’Flaherty, author of Chorographical description of West or Iar-Connacht (1684), and Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty (1893-1963), called “The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican”, who was instrumental in organising the escape of thousands of Allied prisoners and Jews and was hence regarded as a threat to Vatican neutrality by Pius XII, later bringing spiritual succour in prison to Col. Herbert Kallper, the former SS Commander in Rome who converted to Catholicism. The west gate of Galway bears the inscription: “From the fury of the O'Flaherties, Good Lord deliver us”. (See Guy St. John Williams, A Sea-Grey House [Renvyle House Hotel], Connemara: Clódóidí Lurgan Teo. 1995, p13ff.)

Kith & Kin: Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, a Vatican diplomat, established The Rome Escape Line which rescued more than 6,500 Jews and allied soldiers from the Germans in Italy during World War II.

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Guy Davenport: In an essay entitled ‘Joyce’s Forest of Symbols’ (1973) Davenport explores Joyce’s reading of Roderic O’Flaherty’s book Ogygia to find in each chapter of Ulysses correspondences with each of the 18 letters of the Irish alphabet - one of such antiquity that these letters are names of trees with magical properties. (See Bernard Moxham, “Ineleuctible Modality: The Schemata of Ulysses” - website at www.ulysses-art.demon.co.uk, &c.)

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